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July 3, 2011
The Kids Are Alright
Mood:  accident prone

Dear Nickelodeon Cinemas,

I am so very, very sorry about your Harry Potter poster.

Wait, let's back up.  I'll explain in a minute.

So far so good: the twins are coming along fine.  They've been dubbed the Tater Tots, due to an overwhelming lust for mashed potatoes, potato chips, french fries, and all things tuberous over the past few weeks.  Whatever vitamin or mineral is in potatoes, the twins seem to be craving it nonstop.  We've been referring to them individually as Russet and Yukon Gold.  (I jest now, but those names may end up sticking).

We learned last week that the Taters are both boys, and fraternal.  (If they'd been girl-girl twins, would they be sororital?).  Yukon was quite the little flasher, so his boyness was immediately obvious, but Russet was a little more modest and had to be coaxed into revealing himself.  I can't even describe how joyful it felt, the enormity of finally learning their sexes, of being able to put a shape to the daydreams.

Though I love the thought of baby girls and cute dresses and doll tea parties, part of me was secretly relieved at the prospect of dodging the pernicious pink clutches of the Disney Princess Conglomerate, which seems to seize hold of every little girl between the ages of 3 and 6, and provides a convenient legal loophole for not eating lima beans and brushing teeth (because Real Princesses like Ariel have other people do that stuff for them).  Although that's not to say Russet and Yukon won't also have the right to be into tiaras and Destiny Ballads.  However, if they insist on being royalty, I'll try to steer them towards off-brand fairy dust, and make sure they hang up their jackets just like the commoners do.

More likely, I'll have to start sprucing up on dinosaurs, superheroes, and construction equipment, of which I know very little.  There's the....uh.....big stompy dinosaur, and the little rat-faced one.  And Tyrannosaurus Rex, who doesn't have to take a bath if it doesn't feel like it.  (Uh oh....we're right back to the Princess Problem.  I guess it's just unavoidable.)

So, getting back to the previous apology to Nickelodeon Cinemas:  we went to see Tree of Life on Friday night.  This film is A Very Bad Idea if you're feeling at all remotely queasy.  It's chock full of vertigo-inducing camera angles: shots that peer up the trunks of tall trees, open-cockpit biplane rides, disorienting underwater ocean waves, nebulae undulating like lava lamps, acrophobic views from the top floor of skyscrapers.  There were also a lot of jumpy quick cuts through which the unhappy, tense characters moved, giving each other portentious glares.   I tried closing my eyes and breathing deeply, but that didn't really help.  About halfway through, the little alarm bell in my head finally went off ("Get out of there.  NOW.")   I hustled up the aisle, opened the door, and was immediately bowled over by a thick wall of artificial butter/popcorn lobby reek, which caused me to panic and bolt for the fresh air of the outdoors, instead of for the restroom as I should have done.

As luck would have it, it happened to be First Friday, when all the downtown art galleries stay open late and serve wine and hors-d'oeuvres, and the art museum lets everyone in for free.  The brick plaza in front of the theater was thronged with hundreds of arts lovers milling around, lounging on benches, and enjoying the soft summer air.  Murray Whelan and Salina Fleet wouldn't have looked out of place there.  I stared around wild-eyed, searching for a trash can, an ashtray, a sewer grate, a planter, anything.  There were none to be had.  Finally, out of desperation, I slumped against a discreet out-of-the-way nook in the theater facade, closed my eyes, and thought of England.

Unfortunately, after I was done, I noticed I had defiled the wall beneath "Harry Potter and the Deathly Awkward Silence".  I couldn't even make eye contact with the bystanders, just slunk back into the theater.  The best I can hope for is that they all thought it was a strange piece of performance art.

All things considered, I guess it wasn't as awkward as discovering the dead body of an artist floating in the moat of the National Gallery.

P.S.

Dear Weather Gods,

Thank you for sending a short-lived but vigorous rain shower 45 minutes later.  I owe you one.


Posted by dessicatedcoconut at 1:23 PM EDT
Updated: July 3, 2011 3:21 PM EDT
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