Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Heathen

I had a lot of things going on, on Saturday; at least by my standards.  It was a beautiful day out so I was happy to wade out into it.  For some reason, I decided to wear my “Heathen” shirt, perhaps to fish for some blog material… maybe goad a Believer into doing something unbecoming.

First stop in the errand run was to go by a local (plant) nursery.  I wanted to pick up some torenia (aka Clown Violets) to keep on my windowsill at work.  I love them because they’ve very colorful, they bloom like crazy and are easy to grow.  I’ll include a picture further down the road, after I’ve potted them and they've had a chance to grow a little.  It’ll be a nice change because at work, all I have are green, leafy plants.

No comments on the Heathen shirt thus far, although I thought I felt judging eyes roaming all over me.  But I do make room for it being on account of the Toledo Mudhens ball cap I was sporting.  Obviously, when wearing a Heathen shirt, I wasn’t going to wear a Pittsburgh ball cap, or people around here would just go, “Oh… that figures.”

After the nursery, I headed for Wendy’s, because I really worked up a hunger with that 10 minutes of hard shopping.  Only had a burger, though, no fries… I knew I had a big dinner coming up.  But the Wendy’s was on the way, so obviously I had to stop by.  I did notice the counter girl eying my t-shirt.    I totally wanted to say, “Hey, eyes up here, lady!” 

I hope she didn’t do anything un-Christian to my cheeseburger.  But I was extra nice, so maybe that threw her off.

It helps to be super-nice when you’re wearing a blasphemous shirt… shakes up the expectations.

My main activity for the day was to go see "The Avengers."  It had gotten such good reviews, especially for a “comic book movie,” so I figured, “What better way to enjoy a gloriously sunny day than to coop myself up in a cold dark theater for 2 and a half hours?

I got there about a half hour early, to make sure I got a ticket.  I never quite know what I’m walking into with movie tickets.  Every time I thought it would be really busy and bought a ticket online, I ended up rolling right in with hardly anyone there.  I knew this movie was drawing big-time, but as it was its third weekend and a matinee, I figured I’d be safe.  Luckily, I was.

But I must say, the theater did fill up pretty well.  It was the largest crowd I’ve watched a movie among in ages.  Even so, no one sat near me.  I chose a row where there were 5 empty seats before one was occupied.  I sat in the middle, in the third seat, leaving two on either side. I figured I could shift one seat either way and still leave a buffer, but no one showed any interest.  Must have been the Heathen shirt. 

Anyway, I totally loved the movie.  I rate every movie I see (yes, really, on a spreadsheet) and I gave it five stars.  Granted, there should probably be a different scale for comic book/action movies.  I mean, it wasn’t exactly Godfather II, but the action was non-stop, the effects were brilliant and two hours flew by in no time.  What really surprised me was how funny it was.  I had a bunch of literal LOLs, including a number of complete belly laughs. 

Robert Downey Jr. stole every scene he was in.  His dialogue was snap-crackling clever.  Scarlett Johansson and Gwynneth Paltrow were just yummy-looking.  Scarlett’s (and her stunt-double’s) Black Widow character was a complete badass, taking apart both spies and aliens alike.  I suppose Thor and Captain America provided ample beefcaking opportunities for the ladies.

And the audience was right there with me.  I’d say on at least 10 occasions, applause broke out, during the movie.  And everyone applauded at the end.  If you’re one that can suspend disbelieve and accept the whole super-hero thing, then you just have to go see this while it’s still in the theater.

I came into it with a bit of a disadvantage, because I hadn’t seen all the individual “set-up” movies.  I’d seen the Iron Man movies, and the various Hulk movies, but I’d never seen “Captain America” or “Thor.”  (Nor had I read the comic books.  I’ve never read comic books at all.)

I rectified the situation, though, because my next stop was good old WalMart.  I picked up the blue rays for both movies, figuring that I’ll appreciate "The Avengers" a bit more once I knew all the backstories. 

But back in the real world, there I was, in the belly of the beast.  If I were going to get any flack about my Heathen shirt, it would be at Wally’s.  After all, that’s where I had my Darwinfish emblem ripped off the back of my car last year.  (Now, I back into the parking space, so only the people that pull in on the other side can see it.  Helps my odds, I figure.)

But anyway, I shopped with a complete absence of interest from anyone else.  I got what I needed and got out, no muss, no fuss.  Well, I guess this wouldn’t be the first time a blogger over-estimated his own importance.

I got back home in plenty of time for the Preakness Stakes.  In case I haven’t mentioned it, Pimlico Racetrack is about a 5-minute drive from my apartment.  In fact, when I got home, I could see the MetLife Blimp from my front door.
It’s cool to shoot the blimp, while it’s shooting the racetrack that you’re watching on TV.

The race was thrilling, as I’ll Have Another once again ran down Bodemeister on the home stretch.  If I were at the race and betting, (or if I did online betting) I’d have done a $10 exacta box on those two (as well as a couple other bets to win).  The exacta paid off at $18.60, which would have paid me $180.60.  Add in my probably $2 bet to win, which paid $8.40 and my take would have been $189.00.  (Minus all other betting activity, of course.)  Not bad for a theoretical degenerate gambler.

But man, what a terrific race.  I thought for sure that I’ll Have Another was going to run out of track before he could pass Bodemeister, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t.  I’ll say this… the way he closed in the last two races, I would bet on him winning the Belmont and taking the first Triple Crown since 1978.  You know… IF I actually bet.  We’ll see how it turns out. 

The final event of the evening was a birthday dinner for Sitcom Kelly.  Pinky and I met her and some of her other friends out at a local Irish restaurant.  Best of all, Sitcom Kelly’s former foster child was back for a visit.  It’s so good that they’re able to keep in touch.  The little girl clearly loves and misses Kelly.  And you know who else she loves?  The bluzdude!
She looooooooves me!

She’s got the kind of serene smile that just makes you want to buy her a college education.

She had her coloring books to keep her occupied, so I told her that when I was a boy, I used to love coloring in my coloring books.  She fixed me with one of her quiet, semi-smiling stares, then slid one of her coloring books over to me, pulled a handful of crayons out of her bag and dropped them in front of me.

OK, game on Baby Girl!  We both colored pictures for each other.  I might have stayed in the lines a little better though.  I bet you didn’t know I still rock the mad coloring skillz.

Yo, Crayola represent!

After dinner, we stayed for about another hour to watch a band play.  They were good, but relied a little too much on what I call “weenie rock.”  I prefer more Stones, less Modern English.  I just don’t see how you follow a ripping cover of "Jumpin’ Jack Flash" with a meandering ballad or alt-rock hit.  You’re all revved up on the groove and then they just take the air out of the room.  But maybe that’s just me.  The women in the room seemed to like it just fine and I’m sure they were more of the “target audience.”

We got home about 10:30 or so, because we’re old and that was about all we could handle.  Still, for me, the day was packed.  I usually ration all that activity out over the course of a couple weekends. 

At least I still have today to “recover.”  And I don’t have to worry about what anyone thinks of my shirt.

13 comments:

  1. You always did color in the lines but think outside the box. Important skilz, Both.
    Grandma D. was clucking from afar at your sitting in a dark movie on a sunny day. We What an adorable little Girl.weren't even allowed to sit in the living room
    What an exquisite little Girl!

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  2. correction: We weren't even allowed to sit in the living room.
    What an exquisite, adorable little Girl!

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    1. Usually I just sit inside at the computer, on a sunny day. You can actually see me bending toward the light, after a while.

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  3. Nice shirt.

    My husband IS a betting man, but he missed the race because he was at his nephew's bachelor party (at the Nats game, coincidentally), and was very sad he didn't see it or get to bet on it. He LOVES horseracing. It is his thing. These 3 races are his superbowl. Only family could get him to miss it. But we watched it in his absence. And I think you are right. I think that horse has a shot at the triple crown. How exciting. I just hope it's not another Smarty Jones moment. :(

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    1. Bachelor party at a Nats/O's game? He's a true humanitarian. I'd be there too and DVR the race. Of course it would be tough to avoid the race news, but still...

      Yeah, I'm not a racing aficionado, but I do follow the triple crown, ever since I was a boy. (Secretariat will always be my first horseracing love.)

      I just hope I'll Have Another gets out clean and he has an honest chance to win. After that, may the best horse win.

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  4. I keep hearing great things about The Avengers, though it's not normally my kind of movie. I may just check it out!

    Also, kids seem to love you. Don't be alarmed with Cassie's three and Sarah start crawling all over you at the meet up.

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    1. If you can deal with comic book/super-hero movies, this one is the best I’ve seen.

      I’m looking forward to meeting all the chilluns. They’ll be welcome to climb aboard. I’ll teach them how to dunk their dinner rolls in the wine.

      Oh, and to combine these two thoughts, every time Captain America put on his mask during The Avengers, all I could see was Cassie’s kids. Cracked me up.

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  5. People are strangly quiet around me when I wear my "Heathen" shirt. I guess they just don't expect it from someone of my advanced age.

    If you send me one of your masterpieces that you Crayola-ed, I'll post it on my blog with a link back to your blog.

    YEEHAA

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    1. I would, but my masterpiece is still in the girl's coloring book. But it's just as well because I'd hate for it to show up all the other art posted on your site. [Snork!]

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  6. Awww...cute pic! The little girl...not the blimp.

    Is Wendy's your go-to fast food place?

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    1. The child is just adorable. It’s no wonder Sitcom Kelly got so attached.

      Yes, Wendy’s is indeed my fast-food burger place of choice. I’m probably lucky that they don’t have one downtown, or else I’d be there twice a week for lunch. And weigh about 300 pounds.

      The closest ones to me are up in Timonium or Hunt Valley, so whenever I go to a movie or a store up that way, I always work in a trip to Wendy’s.

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  7. Haven't seen The Avengers yet. But I plan to. Maybe this weekend. Heard some confusion about exactly what the Black Widow's superpower is... besides general hotness... the same superpower that most women have.

    Also, with getting too nerdy, they seem kind of thrown together from different universes. One is a Bruce Wayne-type millionaire. One is genetically altered when angry. One is from freakin' mythology. Another is from the 1940s. And then there's a guy with a bow and arrow. Oh well, as long as it's entertaining and funny, who cares?

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    1. The Black Widow seemed to be a run of the mill super-spy, with mad ninja skillz and incredible hotness. ScoJo pulls it off easily.

      The mixed-bag nature of the Avengers is what makes it so much fun. They are all VERY dissimilar. There are a number of interesting dynamics involved, the most fun of which is between Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Captain America. The latter is a selfless, altruistic, honor-bound warrior; the former is a self-involved, technology-reliant genius with none of Bruce Wayne’s philanthropist tendencies.

      Captain America’s “out-of-timeness” is played very effectively for laughs, with the other Avengers.

      The Black Widow and Hawkeye (the arrow guy) have a backstory together, but it was not well explained. He did appear briefly in “Thor,” but it didn’t explain much.

      Bruce Banner and Stark get along splendidly, when Banner is non-Hulked. Most of the time, he is the only person that understands all the scientific mumbo-jumbo that Stark is talking about. But when he’s The Hulk, of course, he clashes with everybody. (And again, often for big laughs.)

      The only real disappointment was that as ringleader Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get to do what he does best… swear graphically with reckless abandon. What I wouldn’t have given for just one, “I am sick and tired of these MF aliens in this MF town!

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