So they voted down the bailout. Thank goodness! The last-offered plan was a bad one that would be expensive and not solve any problems over the long term. Let’s hope that there’s room for fast response to the crisis with a good, equitable, and market-based idea this time.
Michael Cera’s character runs cross-country; he’s counting on his coach to get him a college scholarship. It’s a good thing that his coach is having a big recruiting day for all the area cross-country standouts on Thursday — all the college scouts will be watching! Or at least that’s what Mikey thinks, the coach is actually a charlatan. With that great slack-jawed look that Cera can do, Mikey discovers that he needs to fill the event with some kind of ringers, or the scouts will be pissed off and not give him a chance.
So Mikey recruits all the losers from the high school, fat curly-haired blond kid, little tiny Asian kid, big-toothed Jewish kid — all the teen movie stereotypes. And he even sews them uniforms, so that it looks like the area schools are represented at the recruiting day. And it goes great! Mikey runs well, and looks even better in comparison. Especially when the tiny Asian kid trips and falls face-first in the mud near the finish.
Walking back to the locker room from the cross-country course, Mikey meets the new student, punk-rock Zoe, played by Ellen Page in a tartan miniskirt, combat boots, and lots of eye makeup. Again with the slack-jawed Cera look. They end up sitting underneath the fire escape — Mikey with mud streaked all over his legs and short cross-country shorts from the rainy, muddy course — while he tells her his dreams. AP History. Calculus. A+. College. She says: how about some fun! Then they kiss.
Days later, she’s taken him bowling. Same tartan miniskirt, more chains, especially on her leather jacket. She works at the bowling alley, it’s late, the place is closed, she sneaks him in. He babbles about bowling; she kisses him. She goes to get beers, while Mikey bowls; she comes back, beerless, naked, stands in the middle of the lane, tells him to get naked too. He does; Zoe takes his virginity on the waxed wood of the lane.
The next day he gets the news. “Southern Arkansas”:http://www.saumag.edu/ wants him. Mikey asks Zoe where she’s going — she’s staying. She’ll graduate but her grades are no good, maybe she’ll work at a coffeeshop or clothing store. “Oh, but should I stay?” asks Mikey. “No,” Zoe says, “go get ‘em.” So school ends, and off goes Mikey, to have fun at college!
fn1. My dream didn’t bother to name the character, so we’ll go with Mikey
fn2. In slow-mo
fn3. I think, does he get naked in _every_ movie? Do I _have_ to see his junk again? But I think I was just confusing him with “Chris Cooley’s big nude scene”:http://playingthefield.net/content/view/60/27/.
fn4. Which character do I identify with? Maybe the one who’s recruited for cross-country to the same school that looked into me?
It’s not too late, you can still make it to the “LA Greek Fest”:http://www.lagreekfest.com/ and enjoy the food, rides, and booze. If you’ve been down near USC you’ve probably noticed “St. Sophia Orthodox Cathedral”:http://www.stsophia.org/ at Pico and Normandie. I had no idea they had a Greek festival there every year but the AIG heard about it on the radio at the gym this morning and, let’s face it, the prospect of grilled lamb is way too much for either of us to pass up.
After circling the venue a few times — turns out the traffic patterns were designed to only allow people to make *right* turns into the parking lots, and we tried to make left turns — we found parking in a nearby neighborhood with cute ’20s East Coast-style houses.
The Fest itself was clearly quite the place to be, what with the crowds and all:
We started out with some “dolmades”:http://www.mediterrasian.com/cuisine_of_month_dolmades.htm and “kalamari”:http://www.eatgreektonight.com/recipe.cfm?TypeID=1&RecipeID=1, then took in a Greek cooking demo, where we learned to stuff things with other things, and layer other things with other things:
The food looked so good that, at the end of the demonstration, other attendees literally pushed past the old lady in a walker to get to the samples. As the AIG dodged her way towards the sample table, another woman offered her a glass of “Ouzo”:http://www.greecefoods.com/ouzo/, explaining that she had forgotten that she hated Ouzo. The AIG took the Ouzo but, a few moments later, looked confused and then offered me the Ouzo. Apparently, she’d forgotten that she didn’t like the Ouzo too. Fortunately, I remembered I *do* like Ouzo so I took care of that for her.
We also learned how to dance, Greek-style. For some reason the concept of dancing in a circle seemed natural to me.
The visit to St. Sophia’s was a big highlight of the day too. Not only were we surrounded by beauty, but the priest gave a great and clear explanation of what exactly Orothodox Christianity is.
Also, the AIG took a super-hot picture of me:
Usually I look like a dork with my camera bag on. Apparently not in her eyes!
fn1. Principally eggplant.
fn2. That is, the other woman, not the AIG.
fn3. Or maybe it’s just that I like anything of appropriate strength.
A little too much on the old to-do list has made this vacation weekend a little less than a vacation chez Juniorbird.com. I could see it was heading for twilight on a bright Labor Day when I finished the last task, and I’d been wanting to shoot all weekend long. With nothing to do at the last minute I thought of the old saying in the title and headed for the lemon tree in the backyard.
The lemon tree’s next to the hammock, in the bright sun. Further off, in the shade of the neighbor’s trees, is an old, broken-down brick barbecue.
One of the things that had bothered me about the photos I’d taken with “my new(ish) Canon”:http://juniorbird.com/archive/003339.html was how much more mechanical and less warm and intimate they looked than, say, those “I took in Southeast Asia”:http://juniorbird.smugmug.com/Travel/200720 with my “old”:http://juniorbird.com/archive/003263.html “Minolta”:http://juniorbird.com/archive/002119.html. Now, Canon offers this feature — Picture Styles — that lets you tune what the final product you shoot turns out to look like. To be honest, I don’t know why I never got in there before, but a few weeks ago I finally fooled around and set a custom Picture Style that matched what I wanted, visually. I decreased the sharpening, which Canon is really aggressive with, to get a slightly more natural and intimate feel; increased the saturation, to add richness; darkened the photo to get the deep blacks I wanted; and also changed the default white balance to add natural greens and intimate ambers. I’m happy with the results — getting towards the look I want! Now maybe I need to create fun “new Picture Styles”:http://web.canon.jp/imaging/picturestyle/file/index.html for film types I’d like to shoot, like orthochromatic black-and-white or cross-processed Velvia.
fn1. So long as you’re shooting jpegs, anyway.