after a breakfast of two hot dogs, i left my house for harvard square, making sure i turned down the heat, closed all the blinds, set the living room lamp on a timer, and double check to see i didn't leave anything burning on the stove or ovens. there was a mass of anti-war protesters with homemade signs. cars were honking their horns in support of peace. i see a lot of these pro-peace rallies but not too many pro-war ones. who really supports war, anyway? maybe it's pro-supporting-our-troops. or anti-saddam. or anti-weapons-of-mass-destruction. or anti-dictators. face it, those opposed to peace have a public image problem when it comes to calling what it is exactly they're supporting. i very much wanted to cheer with these peaceniks, and if i had known earlier, perhaps i would've made my own sign and joined them in protest, but the whole time i was there waiting for the 66 bus, i just watched with cold objectivity. when the bus finally arrived, i noticed it wasn't just harvard square that had a rally, elsewhere, in highly visible town epicenters, there were protests as well (coolidge corner for instance).
the 66 doesn't exactly take me directly to elias' place: i still have to walk about 20 minutes along the jamaica way. i didn't mind though, the route is scenic. i even stopped to take a look at some ducks. mallards, seagulls, canada geese, even a swan. i did see a bunch of ducks i've never seen before, and when i came back home and tried to indentify them, i couldn't. they were smaller than mallards, and would occasionally submerge underwater. the few photos i took weren't of very good quality anyway to accurately identify these unknown birds. walking down jamaica way i also noticed these stone markers about 3 feet tall, shaped like flat bells or perhaps tombstones. originally i thought they were milestones, but then i saw another one just a few yards away.
when i arrived at elias' place, he and his friend matt were playing poker while amanda was in elias' bedroom using the computer. this was my very first time inside elias' home, i was very impressed with the apartment layout, the color scheme, and the interior decorating. a red living! how i so very badly wanted a red room in my own place! what was also very impressive was the abundance of plants growing everywhere. they're lucky to be on the 3rd floor of a very sunny location, the place almost seemed like a greenhouse. there was three couches in the red living room, making for a cozy television lounging room, with enough room on the floor for at least one more person to lie down.
around 1pm we started with our first movie. dan had yet to show up, but we started without him. amanda picked spy kids from her personal collection. why does juni have so many warts on his hands? that's the question i want to know. dan got there before the movie finished.
the second movie was from my collection of dvd's, blame it on rio, a movie that i absolutely adore and want to live in it if i could, whatever that means. it's a great movie to watch with a group of people because the situations are so outrageous (older man dating his best friend's daughter) and worthy of comments. the music is also intensely catchy. a drinking game could be made from the movie, a drink for every time a tropical bird shows up on the screen (which seems to be every other scene), with "two cans" of beer for every "toucan" (as suggested by dan).
the third movie was a video dan rented, airport 1975, one of many disaster related movies made during that time featuring an all-star cast. karen black plays a stewardess who must pilot a 747 plane when a freak accident kills everyone in the cockpit (the captain survived, but incapacitated). charlton heston plays the male counterpart who comes to save the day. the drinking game for this movie would be to drink everytime heston calls karen black "honey." we chuckled everytime he said it, which meant there was a lot of chuckling going on. there are also many airplane disaster movie stereotypes, like the nuns, the hari krishnas, and the sick child in need of an organ transplant. if you watch this movie, keep an eye on that evil guitar! cymara also showed up around that time, while amanda left.
after a dinner of chinese takeout while watching episodes of futurama on vcd (elias' roommate michael joined us with his own food, and then quietly retired to the privacy of his bedroom), we moved on to the next movie.
the fourth movie was one that matt brought along, and earlier he was very insistent that we see it, its viewing was one of the main reasons he was here today. the movie was cool hand luke, the paul newman vehicle about a free spirit existing within the confines of a chain gang. it was an interesting movie, a total actor's movie because it was all about paul newman's character study, but not one i'd recommend. the movie makes out the prisoners as victims of an uncompromising penal system, how they're forced to call all the guards "boss" and ask permission before doing anything, totally disregarding the fact that these are criminals, bad men who have done bad things and will likely do them again given the chance. it's a fantasy prison where they have egg eating contests instead of raping one another in the shower. after watching hbo's oz for a few seasons, cool hand luke seems like such a sanitized view of prison life.
the last movie for me was ninja destroyer, another one of dan's video picks. this 1970 dubbed hong kong film has got to be the WORST MOVIE I'VE SEEN in a long time. xanadu was a masterpiece compared to this trash. it exists solely for the purpose of making fun of it and bragging to friends that you were able to endure the entirety of the movie. it's not even a ninja movie, nowhere during the movie is the word "ninja" ever uttered, and besides the supposed ninja costumes (red ninja outfits? you can't hide in red!), the only time you're reminded that they're ninjas is their leader wears a headband with the words "ninja" in both english and kanji. the few scenes of ninja fighting seemed to be tacked on and not related to the story at all, which is about groups of rebels fighting for control of an emerald mine somewhere in thailand. when the movie was over, i still wasn't sure who was who, as new characters kept on appearing, hard to distinguish from the other characters.
i left around 12:30am to catch the 1am 66 bus going into harvard square, while everyone else stuck around for the second half of the marathon (i was all marathoned out and i really wanted to come home and sleep in my own bed). i got to the bus stop (underneath the jamaica way bridge) and waited 35 minutes before it finally arrived, reading up on the php/mysql book elias let me borrow. at one point i had a drunk late-night reveler shout "happy st.patrick's day!" in my face. the driver seemed to know he was off of schedule and raced towards harvard square, lurching the bus a few times when making sharp turns. at harvard square i cashed a check and walked through the harvard campus, where i was stopped by two lost coeds asking me if i knew where most of the juniors lived. i had to tell them i only live in cambridge, i don't go to harvard.
so the two movies i liked from today were blame it on rio (sentimental favorite) and airport 1975. i would never recommend ninja destroyer (i was tempted to destroy the tape, saving future generations from ever having to see it).