i slept on the couch in the living room last night for the very first time, woke up to multiple channels worth of breaking news on television. it took me a while before i figured out that the space shuttle Columbia had disintegrated upon earth re-entry. i'm old enough to remember seeing the Challenger explode in 6th grade, a lot of kids watched it because new england school teacher christa mcauliffe was on that fateful flight. i think people have become accustomed to space shuttle flights that we take it for granted how dangerous manned space exploration is. if nothing else, hopefully nasa can learn from this, so that future flights will be even safer than they already are. space travels apparently is still more art than science, if that makes any sense.

after a quick lunch of toaster ovened pizza rolls with a glass of fruit elixir (and watching a new next door neighbor moving in), i walked down to harvard square to catch the 66 bus to allston to dan's place for game day. i had my mp3 player with me, the first time in a long time, using my large studio headphones to listen to the music because i don't know where my little earbuds are (last night i ordered a pair of koss earplugs, hopefully they'll arrive soon).

we (dan, elias, cymara, and i) played evo, this game about dinosaur evolution (reminded me of survive, a board game that my sister and i used to love playing). i was surprised to be the winner when the asteroid finally obliterated all the species. i never win these games, i'm usually game fodder for other players to climb over on their way to victory.

we ordered chinese food (three servings of orange chicken, one serving of general gau's), had a quick lunch-dinner, then we (minus cymara, who was supposed to be writing a paper but ended up watching the net starring sandra bullock) played carcassonne, a game where you build roads and castles (sort of like dominoes). once again, i won the game, even though i had no strategy other than to build as many castles as i could.

after that game was over, we went to the local video store to grab a copy of xanadu for our bad movie watching night. we came back to the apartment to play a game of settlers (expansion set, which one, i don't know) before watching the movie. elias had the most point in that game, although i came in second using my zero strategy tactic.

as for xanadu - my friends, i will spare you the pain and tell you right now that xanadu is a bad movie. not bad as in good, it's bad as in bad, almost unwatchable in its crappiness. the best bad movie thus far is still can't stop the music, the story of the village people. the pace of xanadu is meanderingly slow, the plot totally one dimensional, the acting horrible, the characters uninteresting. it's pretty much a vehicle for olivia newton-john to sing a few songs she didn't write herself, and also for gene kelly to make some money to pay the bills apparently. the story goes like this: olivia newton-john plays kira, one of nine muses, daughter of zeus (the movie opens with a painfully choreographed dance number featuring the sisters outlined in glowing auras). she comes down to earth in her nightgown dress, her headband, her legwarmers, and her rollerskates (this movie was made in 1980), to inspire rebel artist sonny malone (michael beck). how this inspiration comes about doesn't entirely make sense, except sonny ends up stalking kira (at the risk of losing his job painting giant album covers for record stores, a job that he's supposedly the "best" at but he's always leaving work early to do his own thing, despite warnings from coworkers and even his boss), while at the same time befriending danny mcguire (gene kelly), an eccentric rich oboe player who back during his war days fell in love with kira (although she doesn't seem to remember, and he's afraid to ask her directly otherwise people would think he's crazier than what he already is). the story takes place in this weird split climate california where half the people are dressed for the beach while the other half are dressed for the winter. danny wants to open up a club and not only asks sonny to be his partner, but also gives him half of the club! no strings attached! didn't i mention danny's kind of crazy? anyway, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that papa zeus doesn't want muse daughter kira cavorting with mortals such as sonny, but you can already guess that there's going to be a happy ending when the movie's over. anyway, don't go into the movie thinking it's "cheesy fun." maybe if you squeezed hard enough you could extract a bit of that out of this film, but you're better off saving your money and seeking your cheap thrills elsewhere. the main song "xanadu" was pretty catchy though, but i think it might be ruined now that it'll remind me of this movie. oh, i think i also saw adolfo quinones aka shabba-doo aka ozone (from breakin' 1984) in one of the dance productions doing a precursor to the breakdancing craze that would soon sweep the 80's nation. funny, we almost rented breakin'! maybe next time, almost anything is better than xanadu. i saw it you so don't have to, consider this a public service. i just wish i could have back the 90 minutes of my life watching this movie.

after the movie, elias and i left the apartment, he taking the 66 south into boston, me taking it north into harvard square. by that time it was snowing, big clumps of wet flakes, as i waited on the street corner for the bus. finally it came, brought me to harvard square, where i walked home listening to, of all things, xanadu on my mp3 player.