Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Adventure, an Awesome, and an Airplane

Adventure: Downtown

So, after hearing that Russell was deathly ill with fever we decided to cancel Warhammer 40K round 2: metal mayhem. Now without a fixed point to guide my wanderings that evening, I chanced upon a call from Ms. Teagle. She wanted to know if I wanted to go see a play about one of her friend's travels around the world, so I said sure. I got her in the car and we headed out... to downtown Minneapolis.

Now, many of you may here the term "downtown Minneapolis" and not shudder in horror; in fact, you may laugh at those of us who do. Granted there is not as much traffic as in other, larger cities, but the layout is almost certainly more confusing. Streets are randomly decided to be one way, and many more are blocked off by the scattered bits of construction that pockmark downtown like chicken pox. The most dangerous and frustrating part of all of this, however, is the light rail. Normally a beautiful, well thought out thing in most cities of renown, the Minneapolis light rail is very dangerous in downtown because it looks like a normal street and is very easy to drive on to.

My personal experience with this happened that night. We wanted to make a right turn to try to find parking near the bar where the show was and accidentally turned onto the tracks, not knowing that the real street was actually in the third most left lane of the "street." Panicked, I pulled onto the sidewalk and assessed the situation with Teagle. Fortunately no trains were coming, but there was still the matter of getting from the sidewalk on the right side of the "street" to the actual street all the way to the left. The city planners seemed to have realized that their planning made no sense and thus made the medians seperating the two lanes of train and the lane of actual traffic by very low medians that can be driven over with care.

We managed to make it over the medians before oncoming trains flattened us and continued to try to find our way to a parking place. Unfortunately all right turns were denied to us by the light rail tracks, and this continued all the way until the tracks (and our road!) ended. 7 minutes of circling back around eventually got us back to our starting point, but still... what the hell, Minneapolis?

As a good note, the show was really good. It got me thinking about exactly what my "culture" is, and how typical it is of American, or any other culture on the planet. It also got me thinking about my heritage and how much that defines me. For myself, it does quite a bit, but I still think of my self as an American with German ancestry, not a German-American. There were some other good tidbits, like realizing just how different some cultures can be and exactly what some cultures find refreshing, fun, outrageous, etc.

Awesome: Danny Boyle

So, Danny Boyle is awesome. It takes a lot of people a while to realize this mostly because his movies are all so different from one another. In his directorial resume are such disparate movies as Trainspotting (need to see), 28 Days Later (probably the best zombie movie around despite the zombies not being the stars of the show)... and Slumdog Millionaire.

The last is his latest work that just debuted this past Friday. It tells the story of a boy and those closest to him, from his origins in the slums of Mumbai, throughout India and eventually back home, all in the search for who he is and to find his childhood sweetheart again.

The first really awesome thing about this movie is the fact that it is all told in retrospect as the main character is being investigated for cheating on India's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The second is that, while the movie can be lighthearted at times, it is also ruthless to its characters and subjects them to all sorts of real trauma, both physical and emotional, so it's a love story with something at stake. And the music is awesome, and every single person who saw the movie with us (i.e. the entire theater) enjoyed it, as well as 50 other screenings according to the pollster guy at the exit, which is kind of ridiculous. SO: go see it. NOW.


I went home to New York on Friday. Yay! On the way I got to have a philly cheesesteak in Philly. Yay! I then got to sit in the woods for 4.5 hours waiting for invisible deer. Yay! Then I played Heroes 5 and Fallout 3. Yay!


Until next time...

"We can't define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers… one saying to the other: 'you don't know what you are talking about!'. The second one says: 'what do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? What do you mean by know?'"
-Richard Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics

1 comment:

Draskireis said...

So Heisenberg applies to thought, too?

Interesting. (and only pedants or philosophers backed into corners resort to such needlessly cynical [in the technical philosophical sense] arguments)