June 24th, 2005

Calvin

Serenity Now...

I saw the advanced preview of the Big Damn Movie last night. It was at Providence Place Mall, which meant I had to break my no-going-to-Providence-Place-ever rule. I hate Providence Place for two reasons. First, the owners were given huge tax breaks to build it, despite the fact that they almost certainly didn't need them, so these already rich folk took money out of my pocket to build it. Second, it was built on the site of the old URI Extension building, the first place I ever taught a lecture course, thus trampling all over my personal history. Pillocks. It also completely blocks what used to be a wonderful view of the State House from 95 North, so there's that bit of collateral damage as well.

I went a little early just to see what the place was like, and knowing there's a Popeye's there for dinner. It's pretty much like every other mall I've ever seen. The only store I went into was a Newbury's, where I was amused to see that every single CD and DVD in the place had a massive anti-theft device attached to it, something I've never seen at any other Newbury's. Is Providence Place really that bad a neighborhood, or does the Nordies crowd just shoplift more than the folks in Warwick or on Newbury Street?

I had dinner, and just hung out reading my book (Before Midnight, by Rex Stout) while trying to spot the browncoats. Like shooting fish in a barrel for a lot of them. At about quarter after nine I went upstairs to the theatre, and got there just as they were opening the doors for the longish line that was waiting. I made a pit stop, and by the time I got back, the line had disappeared inside. Oddly enough, it was only after the line was gone that the tchotchkes arrived, so I had first pick of the programs and keychains. Given the size of the line, I was a bit worried about finding a decent seat, but there were still plenty to choose from (I wound up with an aisle seat at the back), so I'd timed it all perfectly.

So, you're in a theatre packed with the Geekiest Geeks in Geekonia with forty-five minutes to kill. Whadda ya do? It was Joss's birthday, so they passed around a card for people to sign (by the time it got to me, the pen was running out of ink), and sang "Happy Birthday." Twice. The second time was so that someone could videotape it for conversion to a DVD that would be mailed with the card to Joss. @@. There was also a guy in a stupid looking hat who led the crowd in a rendition of "The Hero of Canton." I just sat and read.

There was a brief, funny introduction to the preview by Joss, and then the film started. I'll start out by saying that I enjoyed Serenity quite a bit. Collapse )

After the theatre let out, I was making my way down the parking garage when a pack of frat boys blocked my path, and asked if they could ride in the bed of my truck down to the lowest level of the garage (I was about three stories up at this point). I pointed out that I have a bed lid, and the guy doing the talking started back to walking, but one of the other assholes jumped on top of it... At which point I gunned the engine while watching him slide off the back. People are frelling stupid. And one more strike against Providence Place.