if there was one movie i needed to see this summer, it was inception. i knew from the moment i saw the trailer back in may. i wasn't that rabid about it that i needed to catch the midnight screening last night, but i was amongst the first buying a ticket at the harvard square theatre this morning for the 10:00 showing. "inception, right?" one of the girls behind the concessions stand asked me. "are you psychic? because you read my mind," i told her. one of the perks of being a theatre employee is free movie screenings. both of them were raving about the film. "you have to see it a second time, just to understand everything," one of them informed me.

a great film, but not the masterpiece the buzz machine has been whirring about. if movies are supposed to take you to places you could never possibly imagine, then inception has done its job. a heist movie that happens in a subconscious cake at least 3 layers deep, that leaves something behind instead of taking something away, have you ever seen such a wondrous thing? the suspense was there, but i always knew the team would come out alright. maybe the idea of being trapped forever in somebody's unconsciousness wasn't made to be as horrible as it should've been. can i stay behind and create a dream world? i can has cheezburger? doesn't sound so bad. i have about the same level of adoration for the bat man movies as i do inception. if i had to pick a nolan's best, it'd still have to be the prestige. nevertheless, the world he's built in inception is so detailed and innovative, it sticks with me long after the movie is over. as for casting, leonardo dicaprio's once more plays to his type, the tortured antihero, utilizing his fat furrowed face. i'd say the true star is his right hand man, played by joseph gordon-levitt. his zero gravity fight scene in the rotating hotel hallway is admission price worthy. also cool: spacefolding whole cityscapes. yeah, it'd been done before (like in dark city, another dreamy scifi thriller), but never to this magnitude.

while it was still cool when i got to the theatre in the morning, by the early afternoon the weather was already crazy hot. fortunately it was a dry heat, which is the more tolerable kind. i called julie (12:36) to let her know i was out and to meet up at annapurna, the himalayan restaurant on the corner of walden and mass ave. not sure about their evenings, but the few times i've passed by during the daytime, the place has always been empty, even well after the walden street bridge was completed. i figured they could use the business. i've been there one other time for takeout (11/2008) and it was pretty good. i arrived first and got a table near the window in the empty restaurant, except for the 3 employees chatting by the kitchen door. julie arrived shortly afterwards. i ended up going with the terai curry lamb ($9), which i thought looked good because it was made with coconut milk (a touch of southeast asian cuisine). julie had the vegeterian mishmash tarkari (it's just fun to say "mishmash"). the curry was good, but not as great as the first time (the prices have also gone up a wee bit since my last visit). with lunch over, i left with my dvd burner inside a tote bag which julie had returned.

since i wasn't far from the cafe, i decided to pay my parents a visit. from there i went back to my place.

when i finally got back home, it was to an empty house. so far so good. the first few days of living with a new roommate is a period of figuring out his/her schedule, so i'll have an idea of when they won't be home and i can pretend i'm living alone again. i noticed she put her television on the floor to make more room for her laptop. when i went to go take a shower, i picked up on my first wrinkle. reprising my role as impossibly to please roommate, i noticed chen had readjusted my shower head. yeah, i know, very serious! you don't mess with a man's shower head!

for the next few hours i tried to stay cool - without turning on the ac and keeping my clothes on. the fan was on at high blast and i drifted off to sleep on the couch. not wanting to find my roommate in an embarrassing state of unconscious, i crept to my bedroom. only problem was i don't have a fan in there, and after a few heated moments lying on the bed, i returned to the couch.

my roommate came back around 7:00. she asked what people eat around here. i thought this was my opening to give her my prepared speech on how she can make anything she wants but try to refrain from greasy wok cooking, but i held back. i gave her a few suggestions, and she left for the supermarket across the street. in hindsight i should've gone with her to show her the ins-and-outs of american groceries, but i figured with her time spent in europe, it wouldn't be that unfamiliar. she came back with some pasta ingredients, her dinner a simple combination of noodles, tomato sauce, and cheese. by then i'd already had my own dinner, an equally simple affair of chinese noodles mixed with spicy dan dan sauce and chopped scallions.

from that point on we chatted once again until my bedtime of 2:00. i don't know if it's my roommate who's really talkative or if it's me (or perhaps both). i had the air conditioner on by that point (i just needed some temporary relief) despite the fact that it showered for a period of time outside. we talked about the expanding unemployed white collar class in china (making less money than a factory worker despite being college educated). she revealed awkward french vigesimal counting, which i never knew before (example: 76 in french is "60 + 16" - soixante-seize). then i figured out she does some birdwatching back in shanghai, and share an appreciate for nature. she poured over my aubudon new england field guide then i showed her the sibley birdwatching bible. i asked her about the hoopoe i saw in doacheng (china), which i thought was fairly common bird (despite me having never seen one until that point) - but she never saw one before. i told her during her stay here i could take her to a nature outing one of these days.