into the 90's they said the temperature would be today. i shut the windows to keep the hot air from blowing inside and closed the blinds to prevent radiational heating. but it actually wasn't that hot, the temperature only went up into the low 80's. tomorrow's another story however, a deadly combination of heat and humidity, with possible thunderstorms in the late afternoon.
i washed my bicycle today, took the opportunity to clean off the tree pollen on the handlebars, which i suspect is the cause of the poison-ivy-like rash on my palms. i haven't been on the bike in a while and the rash has pretty much subsided. also now that most of the tree pollen has already fallen, i haven't had any allergy symptoms in a while, don't need the nasal spray anymore (which i would always forget to use anyway until i was already outside).
maybe i woke up too early because i fell asleep on the couch in the late afternoon. i woke up close to 6:00.
i was supposed to go to a foraging walk with rob's friend dave in belmont's beaver brook reservation until i discovered it wasn't a free event and i needed to pay $10 admission. at that price i can buy the foraging book he wrote and still have change left over. i decided not to go on principle.
for dinner i steamed up a pair of zongzi my mother gave me.
later in the evening i walked down to harvard square for a sneak preview screening of super 8 at the brattle theatre. elias told me about it yesterday. while i managed to sign up for a free pass, he wasn't able to get his for some strange reason. the film wouldn't start until 10:00, but the pass said doors would open at 7:00 and to be sure to get there early (with a 250 maximum seating capacity, space was limited). so they expect us to wait at least 3 hours prior to the movie? how considerate.
i was waiting in line a little after 8:00. by that point there was already 60 people ahead of me. there was nothing to do but wait. the temperature had cooled off a little bit, but the humidity seemed to have increased. i watched all the fanboys (and some fangirls) with disdain. it wasn't their geekiness that bothered me (although that was a part of it); it was how young they all were. i saw very few people who could've my age or older. i heard words like "tweet" and "twitter feed" and it seemed like everyone had an iphone.
i wasn't entirely gadget free myself, discretely pulling out the kindle from my bag. i checked the hockey score on its rudimentary slow browser (using the free theatre wifi) and continued reading game of thrones, finding out a bit what's going to happen in next sunday's penultimate episode.
the boy next to me asked if i could save his spot while he left to get a cup of ice coffee. i hesitated, since i was reluctant to be responsible for a stranger's spot, but i agreed anyway. "hey, you want anything?" he at least had the courtesy to ask. "no thanks," i said, even though i was kind of thirsty; i just didn't want to have to use the bathroom during this 2 hour wait.
with another hour to go, studio publicists went around taking photos of the crowd. the girl with the camera had an agenda, trying to find as many fangirls as possible, so it wouldn't seem like the sausage fest that it was. she came back out with an assistant and handed out a few movie posters. later some more assistants came out and gave everybody waiting in line a t-shirt. they had different sizes, but i felt bad for this one guy i saw who was obviously an XXXL (maybe he could wear the t-shirt as a pair of shorts). "could we get a photo of everyone holding up their t-shirts?" the girl with the camera asked. i stood my ground uncooperative, sullen. if you see publicity for the movie, i'm the guy who wouldn't play any reindeer games.
with less than half an hour to go, they finally began letting people into the theatre. i was curious how they would check the passes, as just as i thought, security was lax. i noticed the guy in the ticket booth had a list of valid e-mail addresses, but he didn't bother checking. if your print-out pass looked legit, he'd let you in. it would've been pretty easy to print out a bunch of fake ones.
i'd never watched a film at the brattle before, even though i have a 12-movie pass for the theatre. i've come close, but my timing was always off. i think i might've seen akira (1988) here when it first came out, but that could've also been at the harvard loews. it's one of those theatres that was originally designed for plays but retrofitted to show movies now. however, the film screen is actually deep within the stage itself, so i moved up to the front of the theatre so i'd be able to see.
the movie was super 8 (2011), not to be confused with the fantastic 4 (2005) or the magnificent 7 (1960). and definitely don't get it confused with 8mm (1999), the nicholas cage vehicle about the snuff film industry. produced by steven spielberg (he produces a lot of films these days, so that doesn't necessary mean it'll be good), written and directed by j.j.abrams. am i the only person who doesn't think abrams is a genius? i like alias (up until the final season) and i enjoyed the star trek reboot, but i don't immediately salivate at his upcoming projects. basically, i don't associate him with awesomeness that i'd do with some other writer-directors (christopher nolan and tarantino comes to mind).
the basic premise of the film is a bunch of late 1970's kids making a movie (a super 8 movie!) witness a train crash that releases an alien life form. the movie is part goonies, part E.T., and a dash of transformers in the final third act. quiet character-driven moments are punctuated by loud summer-style special effects eye candy. was i entertained? hell yeah. were there parts of the story where i rolled my eyes? you bet. but fortunately there wasn't that much, and most of the eye-rolling came in the end, during the big payoff. there were also some sappy moments that did tug at the heart strings but did also feel like i was being manipulated. low hanging fruit, abrams! i like the cast of unknowns for the kids, with the exception of elle fanning, who was probably only 12 when the film was made but plays a girl closer to 16 (she drives in the movie, which is how she ends up being part of the film crew). i think she's one of the best parts of super 8 and i wholeheartedly support her subsequent domination of all teenage girl movie roles. that fact that the story takes place in the late 70's is kind of used for laughs: oh look, a walkman!; they listen to disco!; oh my god those outfits!
the screening ended at midnight. i should've rode my bike to harvard square. i ended up walking back (15 minutes) when it could've taken me just a few minutes on the bike with the mostly empty streets.
i left the house without telling bram, but he's done the same. our tenant-landlord relationship is very well defined. we interact when we see each other, which isn't very often, just in the mornings and then at nights when he comes back home. i don't think we're going to be good friends, but that's okay. different roommates have different relationships. he's more guarded and pirate, i can respect that. the fact that he almost never cooks at home is a welcomed bonus.
finally, i was actually hoping i wouldn't get into the screening so i could come back home and watch game 4 of the stanley cup. it was a must-win situation for the bruins, who were still down 1-2 in the series. i was happy to learn that boston won again, a final score of 4-0. now it's a best out of 3 series. the red sox won too, against the yankees, and are now on top of the division for the first time this season.