Usually on Friday nights, we call a couple of our friends have dinner and unwind from the week that has just gone by. Since we meet at restaurants, there is little pressure for anything but to show up. Last Friday however, I had promised M that we would see Ocean's Thirteen. It is not the kind of movie I typically enjoy, but I have seen Eleven and Twelve, so why not?
We went home, dropped off the work accessories, changed and headed toward the megaplex. I can say with absolutely no exaggeration at all, that the strip mall that houses the movie theater closest to us is hideous. It's saving grace is the Barnes & Nobles that takes over the bulk of the north side of the strip. Its neighbors are a bunch of restaurant chains and Gap-ish stores. Occasionally handy, but generally dull. With the exception of SF, NY and Boston; I haven't been to any American cities that don't delight in their strip malls. It's almost as if city planners pride themselves on assembling as many interchangeable stores as they can on a major intersection.
We grabbed sandwiches at Panera's, where I was offered one of the most bizarre side order options ever: they offered me a choice of apple, chips or BREAD with my tuna sandwich. In case the two slices of whole wheat bread that came with my order did not contain enough processed carbohydrates, I could supplement it with either fried carbs or baked carbs. The apple was just the token fruit offered for diversity's sake. Now I realize that nutritionally, having a side of bread isn't too different from a side of potato salad, french fries, chips, or macaroni salad--but it just struck me as an unusual side dish. Even funnier was the look on the girl's face when I asked for a fruit salad on the side. Her eyes practically popped out of her head as she said, "But that's $1.60 more." I'm pretty sure she would have been ok with a request for a giant chocolate brownie...
Anyway, I managed to drag M to B&N before the movie started. In less than half an hour, I had grabbed eight books. Mind you, I had no intention of buying books when we left the house--but then again, I rarely do. I try to avoid bookstores, the same way some women avoid shoe stores; I have no self control. I may be benevolent and buy books for others, or practical and buy a book that will help me do something useful with my life (which is very, very rare)--but I have never entered a bookstore and left empty handed. I only ended up buying four books, only because I didn't feel like carrying two bags of books to the movies--only geeks would do that.
I am now the proud owner of Persepolis: A Story of Childhood, Mission Al-Jazeera, No god But God, and It's Not News It's Fark. I have already completed Persepolis, and will share my thoughts on it a little later. I spent a good part of my day reading Fark, while I pretended to work. I got caught reading by my co-workers a few times and complained that the servers were so slow I could finish a book while I waited to open files. Of course, the were so shocked to see me reading a book, they scurried away in horror--it's just not a good situation.
(That is the problem with reading books at work versus listening to them. Since I became a member of simplyaudiobooks.com, I have been listening to books at work all day. It's brilliant and inconspicuous. I have my headphone in my ear, look at my 'detail oriented' boss as he talks and listen to David Sedaris read Me Talk Pretty One Day. It is a special moment when my boss thinks I'm laughing at his jokes, while in reality I'm laughing at David. This is much harder to do while reading a book.)
Anywho, we enjoyed the movie--although I never really figured out what Eddie Izzard was doing in some of the scenes. I don't really mind, considering how much I get a kick out of seeing him added to the cast. Next movie on my list to see, Knocked Up.