Wednesday was the usual NYT deadline and I really wanted to finish before I'd have to leave for the movie around 6:30, to avoid coming back late at night. I was meeting a guest there, so couldn't just take my time and come late to the first movie. Before going to the Times, I had to add money to my MetroCard, mail books at the PO, and deposit checks at the bank, but the lines weren't long and I was able to do everything quickly.
The Sunday puzzle arrived while I was doing errands, and got finished just before 5, after an interruption by a production person who wanted to make sure the --- clues in the Thursday puzzle were intentional. I had completely forgotten the puzzle even though I did it a week before, so it took a bit to find the explanatory entries. People who don't know puzzles shouldn't question us! But they could conceivably find a legitimate screw-up (e.g., a clue change after I've printed the puzzle, which pushes the last clue off the page).
The dailies had come at 4:17. I knew I could solve them before needing to leave, but could I do all the checking, make the Across Lite files, do the scramble codes, put scrambled files on the server, and send out the various e-mails? It was looking very close and I realized I could make it, but I'd have to leave slightly later than anticipated. I rushed through the end tasks, so I hope I didn't mess up the unscramble codes and such. Fingers crossed.
I had gone to the ladies' room around 6 so was able to dash out at 6:40. I just missed an express and took a local (just 2 more stops, but I was in a hurry). I got there just before 7, and L had already gone inside and gotten seats so we were fine. It just felt very hectic. The movies were:
"The Lookout" - a kid who suffered a head injury in a car accident gets lured into a bad crowd. Sort of sad and either violent or with the threat of violence in spots. I had to look away at times. It was well done, but not my kind of movie.
"The Namesake" - after "Vanaja" and "A Mighty Heart," we were back in South Asia, but the story soon shifted to New York and the Indian family's assimilation in varying degrees. The story was interesting and rich, and I'd like to read the book (by a Barnard alum - yay).
I got a lot done, but what I hadn't done all day was eat. When I got home, I cooked the Fresh Direct two-per-package Cornish hens I'd defrosted. I baked at 450 and then 350 with chopped onions underneath to catch the drippings. It wasn't that good, and I only had half a hen. If I don't eat the rest soon, the cooked hens will go back in the freezer.
I'm purposely avoiding reading about the nominated movies so I can come in fresh, and not talk myself out of movies that might not sound good on paper. Tonight was rainy/sleety and I'd never heard of the movies and Sundance is starting, so I figured the crowd would be sparse and took my time getting ready. Then I had a package at the desk, so brought it back up. I finally got to the theater at 7:10, opened the door, and found a giant sea of faces. The only empty seat I could see in the dark was the leftmost seat in the front row (where I made someone remove their coat and bags).
The view was bad, especially with subtitles, and I never really got used to it, but it was better than standing. The movie was "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," a Romanian best foreign film nominee which I learned later is getting much buzz. It opens here next week, so I'm unclear how it's nominated for a 2007 award. The movie was good, but not THAT good. Reading about it later, I learned that my confusion at the beginning was due not only to having missed the first few minutes, but to the way the plot is gradually introduced to the viewer.
Several people left after that movie so I was able to move back to a more normal seat for the second film. This was "Great World of Sound," about music industry wannabes, salesmen, and scams, with a touch of "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Tin Men" and "American Idol." I liked it a lot. It was late, and the audience dwindled considerably from the early full house, but I stuck around for a Q&A with nominated supporting actor Kene Holliday (excellent; he could have been in the actor category). He was enthusiastic and happy to be part of this. He's gotten "breakthrough" awards, which is funny considering he's been working since 1969. He said there was a lot of improv and most of the auditioners thought they were actually auditioning for record deals, only to find out later they were in a movie. Given the sketchy record company in the plot, they probably ended up getting more exposure.
I hadn't eaten yet, but the leftover Cornish hen didn't sound appealing, so I switched to the 1 (which took so long to come that people waiting at 59th cheered when it appeared) and went up to Westside Market for groceries. That's really a nice store. My schedule is such that it's perfectly natural to be shopping after midnight. I was lower on cash than I thought (should have taken out money when I was at the bank), but had enough for food and a cab home.
Since I picked up some produce at prices lower than Fresh Direct, I wanted to change my pending order. Good thing, since although I'd reserved the delivery spot, I hadn't actually submitted an order. I revised the shopping cart and got the order in.
"Forever Hold Your Banner High!: The Story of the Mickey Mouse Club and What Happened to the Mouseketeers" by Jerry Bowles - I don't remember much about the Mickey Mouse Club except the Annette serial, so this "where-are-they-now" (as of 1976) wasn't that interesting.
"Anywhere but Here" by Mona Simpson - A mother with big dreams moves with her daughter from Wisconsin to Beverly Hills. It took forever to get through this meandering story told from different characters' viewpoints. Maybe the movie is more compelling.