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Dom and I went to see “An Improvised Christmas Carol” at Unexpected Productions. It was a pretty good show. Our friend Amanda is in the troop and she is very funny. There were a few annoying people in the audience, but that’s to be expected, really.

After the show, we met Elyse, Gene, Andrew, Brugos, Derek and a few others at the Nite Lite. Elyse had already been drunk and then back to sober. She was VERY entertaining. Andrew was recovering from knee surgery. It’s amazing how far science has come, even in the last few years. He had arthroscopic surgery, which is what I had, and his scars were SO small that they will easily be gone in a year. My scars, also from arthroscopy 5 years ago, will be with me for the rest of my life. My surgery was more invasive than Andrew’s but still, they had all kinds of instruments and a damned camera in there and it just looks like two small puncture wounds. Take that, Scientology.

I got in two powerful drinks from the WONDERFUL bartender lady and got Elyse to do a Shirley Temple impression in her adorable indie sailor outfit. I could have easily stayed at the Nite Lite for a while, but everyone else had been there for a few hours so they were ready to move on. We moseyed up the street to Shorty’s, which was full, and then to the Lava Lounge, which had a nice big table with our name on it. The Lava Lounge isn’t as bad as I remember it being. I am no longer anti-Lava.

Since everyone was many drinks ahead of me, people started to leave after about an hour at Lava, so Dom and I took off too. A nice, mellow Friday night for us.

The day began with a matinee of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. Faye, Dom and I got there an hour early because we didn’t know what kind of crowd to expect. It wasn’t TOO crowded, but it was definitely good that we secured our seats early. We were joined by Ben, Emily and Brugos. As we sat there, waiting for the movie to start, it slowly dawned on us that we were surrounded by church groups. Faye was tipped off first by bad sweaters and the exclamations of people who were easily shocked by everything. We saw a bunch of awful trailers (including several of the ones Mark saw before Harry Potter. Oh my GOD, does ANYBODY care about M. Night Shlamamalayaman anymore?)

Then the movie began. Even if we hadn’t been surrounded by one of the most annoying audiences in history, it would have still been a fairly blah experience. Let’s get this out of the way first. I don’t really think the Chronicles are a Christian allegory inasmuch as everyone says it is. Sure, Lewis was a Christian and that would, undoubtedly, color his writing, but the whole allegory theory has gotten out of control. It was, first and foremost, a children’s story. And the best kind of children’s story too, because what kid doesn’t want to think that they can have an adventure like that while playing hide and seek? I know I did. Sure, as Borgia astutely observed, it’s kind of lame that these kids get to be kings and queens just because they’re the first humans to come to Narnia that happen to fit the ancient prophesy. But you don’t really think about it like that when you’re a kid. Instead, you think “This could happen to me” and that’s a nice, empowering notion. Especially for a lonely child.

ANYWHO, the movie: It had its good points and bad points. The good included some impressive CG, some beautiful cinematography, some excellent acting on the part of Tilda Swindon, that little hottie who played Mr. Tumnus, and the little girl who played Lucy, and, for Dom’s sake, the Griffins. As for the bad, well, Liam Neeson was far too recognizable to voice Aslan. He was boring and, in no way captured the majesty of the character in the book. His mighty, last word roar, was not really that commanding. The battle scenes were too long in the set-up without the payoff. The two elder children were kind of annoying at times. There were a lot of scenes that should have been trimmed or cut. There was no need to make the movie two-and-a -half hours long. The extra action sequences they wrote in felt gratuitous, and the kid who played Peter could not really sell the “coming of age” thing to pull off the scenes.

The Audience: You would think that at a 1:30 matinee, the biggest problem would be the children. Not so with these guys. With the exception of an occasional baby moan, the kids were silent. It was the adults we had to deal with. The row behind us (definitely church-goers) would NOT shut up. Everything shocked them and they felt they had to let us know. One of the ladies sounded an awful lot like Jennifer Coolidge, so it made it KIND of funny, but not that funny. The guy directly behind me had some food item in a paper bag that he was making AS MUCH NOISE AS POSSIBLE eating. After he ate the food, he TORE THE BAG UP. IN MY EAR. Then there was a man who smelled like beer who sat in front of us and ate Chinese take-out. At one point, he began muttering and coughing and then left the theatre for a few minutes, only to return later for more muttering. At the end of the movie he said “Wait till part 2!”. Jesus. I know church groups don’t get out much, but have none of these people ever been to a movie before?

After the movie, Ben and Emily went to Olympia real quick to get dinner. Brugos went to buy a suit and the Troika did a little shopping downtown. Brugos joined us later for dinner at Bill’s. Then we had a little time to kill before karaoke at Jai Thai. Dom went home to NOT play Warcraft and said he’d meet us later. Faye, Brugos and I got some unnecessary dessert at Charlie’s, and then headed to Jai Thai to secure a table. We were all kind of dead. Brugos had apparently been REALLY drunk the night before and Faye and I were exhausted from shopping. So it was, perhaps, fortunate, that they have now cancelled karaoke at Jai Thai. They said it was bad for business. I don’t really believe them because it was always crowded when I was there. It’s a bummer though, because now there is only ONE place left on the hill with weekend karaoke. Anyway, we stayed for one drink and tried to formulate a plan b. I got a drink called an “Adios Mother Fucker”. I didn’t understand the waitress, though, and thought I was getting an “Audio Smother Fucker”. Either way, the thing is packed with booze. It took me a while to get through it. Meanwhile, Ben, Emily, Borgia and Dom arrived. We eventually settled on going back to the Zookster Pad for a quick round of the karaoke home-version and then, perhaps, to watch “Return of the Jedi” on laser disc. Brugos was replaced by Gene. I haven’t seen Jedi in a very long time. It really IS the worst of the 3. Some parts, even with the abundance of nostalgia, are glaringly bad. But I still maintain that “Empire” is a genuinely good film. We WILL be having an Empire party in the next month or so. This I swear.

I started by day by meeting my friend Ryan in Queen Anne for breakfast. The food at Ozzie’s is ok, but, under no circumstances, should anyone drink their damned coffee. HOLY SHIT! Ryan and I each had two cups and we were tweaking by the end of breakfast. My pulse raced for the next several hours, and my limbs were numb. I calmed myself down by watching the remake of “The Amityville Horror”. Now, it may have just been the coffee talking, but remake status aside, I thought the movie was actually pretty scary. It wouldn’t have been if Ryan Reynolds hadn’t TOTALLY sold the psychosis of the character. Man, he was brutal. As soon as he stops making movies like “Just Friends”, that guy has the potential to win some awards.

I crashed from my caffeine high right around the time I had to go to yoga.

After yoga, we had a Gadzook meeting about the feature. We’ve got to start getting serious about whoring ourselves if we have any hope of getting that thing made. Here we go…