Friday, July 22, 2011

Steppin' Out!

My vacation officially begins Monday. Fridays at work are short days. So I decided to make the most of my Friday afternoon and start the vacay off right.

It needed to, because my supervisor had dropped by to ask when it was (which he knew already) and if I'd be staying close in case he needed to call me. I reminded him that there was zero on my schedule for the next week. He keeps doing this, balking whenever I ask for vacation. I have ten weeks saved up. I have definite weeks when there is little or nothing to do. Why the fuss, then, of me taking vacation? I've asked around, and apparently he doesn't do this with others.

Anyway. I got out a credit card and started it smokin'. That's right, I signed up for my Art of the Carolinas classes. They'll be in November, but many classes, especially those on the weekend, sell out quickly. Surprisingly, I didn't sign up for the classes that had originally caught my eye. I got to thinking about things and by golly, chose a few alternates instead. I'll be learning two completely different approaches to still lifes—one in realistic oils and the other in crazy semi-abstract acrylics, going in for more abstract instruction from a very good instructor, and learning a bit of technical/marketing stuff concerning giclées.

And of course I'll need a hotel room for all that, even if it is just down the road in Raleigh. You wouldn't believe how exhausted you can get after frantically painting from 9 AM to 8 PM!

That done, I printed out a movie schedule for Harry Potter. For some reason I printed the times for all local theatres instead of just the one I was targeting. (Good thing!) Next it was off to the comic store to pick up a couple week's worth of comics. Still haven't read the special Wonder Woman issue, but according to just about everyone, it's a real stinker. Only saw 1 good comment about it. Oh boy. :^(

Plenty of time to head to Southpoint, the mammoth mall that I still think of as being new. I had a 3:40 appointment at Penneys for a portrait, so I moseyed around a bit, looking for some place to get makeup done. (I'd had my hair dyed two nights before. Don't want all that gray immortalized. The hair dresser went a little crazy with the red, which was only supposed to be on the very tips.) Because I was really early and didn't think there'd be time to eat before the movie, I got a snack and then visited the Bare Escentuals salon. (Penneys had a hair salon but no makeup.) There I agreed to buy a beginner's kit plus a couple other things. CA-CHING!!!! I told them about my 3:40 appointment; they said no problem.

I arrived late. Still, the photographer was buzzing around in her studio, so I thought it was okay. Even so, she complained about me being late. I asked why she hadn't answered my 2 emailed questions and she said she'd only gotten one. She didn't say why she hadn't answered that one. Anyway, I discovered that Penneys does not grant copyright to the sitter. I can use the shots anywhere but on my books—or to get a print done from Walmart, of course. Well, okay. Whatever. I'll be getting new shots done next year when I'm beautiful, right?

So I sat for the portrait. "Turn to your left, turntoyourrightturnleanforwardturnagainturnturnturnturnturndone!" Damn, what an impersonal sitting! I felt like a cog on an assembly line. No, there was no appointment before mine, nor one after. And it all happened so quickly I wasn't able to make the kind of expressions I had planned. You know, expressions that said, "Hi. I'm just like you. You'd probably like my books. Why don't you buy some right now?"

The photog wasn't pleased AT ALL that I'd brought a coupon with me. I chose the 3 poses that didn't make me puke outright (just wait until next year!) and ordered those. I hurried out, determined to make it to the next Harry P showing so I wouldn't have to wait over an hour. But I stopped to talk to a woman from that floor & carpeting place with the catchy jingle. By then I figured I'd missed the beginning of the movie. Then because it was so warm inside the mall I got a piña colada smoothie—yum! While sucking it down in the car I recalled that I had printouts of movie times for other theatres.

Hm. There were 2 on the way home. One had a new show starting in 20 minutes. If I could find my way back to I-40 quick enough... I did! I drove at a reasonable rate, too. Then we got a highway sign: "Traffic stopped 1/2 mile ahead. Prepare to slow down." Uh oh! But luckily the 15/501 exit was in sight. I took it to get to the Wynnsong 15. Of course the lady 3 people in front of me in the ticket line wanted to ask a million questions of the woman behind the glass. Everyone in line grumbled, but finally she moved on.

By the time I gave the ticket guy inside his stub, it was 4:59 for a 5:00 show. Whew! Took a right at the proper sign, went inside and...

Where was everyone? There were only 7 people there. Was I in the right theatre? Oh no, maybe this was Sarah Palin's Undefeated. Was it playing in this place?

I sat through a dozen commercials (some very old), and then another dozen previews. All the previews concerned white males having an adventure. Some of the males were boys and some were men, but they were all white. One preview seemed to have an auxiliary non-sexual-role girl in it, so I'll keep my eye out for that. (Hugo.)

Then, I'm happy to say, Harry Potter began. Wow! This is what they made the movies for! I was amazed by the tight yet poetical dialogue, and thought everyone gave a top-notch performance. The sets, costumes, makeup and effects were tremendous. The music was a little, well, John Williams-y in a saccharine way in tiny spots (he didn't do the original music for this film, but they were picking up on his theme), but it only detracted from things twice and only for moments each.

I'd brought a pile of Kleenex in because it was such a hot day and I was desperately trying to sweat my makeup off. HP7b turned out to be a three-Kleenex movie. At one point I was afraid I'd sob out loud—all too embarrassing!—but the lady behind me managed to do that first, which kept me in line. She was also the one who softly voiced for all of us, "Don't go," during the King's Cross white-out scene. (No spoilers here!)

Speaking of spoilers, someone on FB had mentioned they didn't understand the mirror shard from the last movie, and when Daniel Radcliffe appeared on The Daily Show last week, someone asked him why the mirror shard wasn't explained, when it was in the book.

All that made me look up just the mirror shard on Wiki and read about what I'd forgotten: Dumbledore's not-so-wise youth and his family problems. Thus I was able to keep up with things when this movie zipped through all that. Still, glad to see it included.

So HP7b gets a hearty recommendation from me! I can't imagine anyone not familiar with the series trying to see it, though. There was a kid in front of me, clearly a HP fan, who left to go to the bathroom and came back. "What happened, Mom?" he asked.

"The girl did something," she replied, after Hermione had dealt with the one horcrux.

Poor Mom, stuck in such a textured movie and not knowing where she was!

But it was a lovely, lovely movie and a completely fabulous ending to the series and so much more interesting than the Lord of the Rings movies. With them it was just fight fight fight, fight some more, fight fight. Insert bits with Frodo and Samwise here and there to keep everyone awake.

With HP there was drama and endings and sweetness and struggle and decisions and "Not my daughter, you bitch!" Bloody marvelous!

Which reminds me: time for a singalong!!!!!!

Afterward I said what the heck and got two slices of pepperoni pizza to go, with no salad in sight.

A great way to begin a vacation. Hope most of my days off are as productive!


Beth Caudill said...

I hope you have a great vacation.

We've given up on the in studio portraits for awhile. A lot of money for very impersonal and quick ho hum shots.

Although, I have to say we liked Sears better than JCPenny's.

Harry is still on my list to see. Not in a hurry since I didn't like the book. I'm hoping the movie portrays Snape better than the book.

Carol A. Strickland said...

Oh, he does! That was one entire Kleenex right there.

And I'm afraid that I boycott Sears most faithfully.