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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   hanging out at the mall
Thursday, January 29 2009
This evening Penny and David picked up Gretchen and me and we all went together to the Hudson Valley Mall to spend our Thursday night. The plan was to see Gran Tornino, the latest Clint Eastwood vehicle at the big mall cinema. In the past, Gretchen and I have always snuck into movies at this particular venue, believing this to be a justifiable way to telegraph a big "fuck you" to The Man. Tonight, though, Gretchen spoke of the depressed economy and her civic pride in downtrodden, rust-belt Kingston, and said she wanted us to actually buy our tickets, yes, even here at the multiplex. I have to believe that the emergence of this new, more responsible Gretchen isn't completely unrelated to the fact that now she has a job that provides us both with health insurance.
Gran Tornino was not a great movie, nor was it even an especially good movie. The acting was occasionally so wooden that it looked as if an actor (particularly the guy who played the young priest) was reading from cue cards. And it serves no purpose, ironic or otherwise, when the only black characters in your film are portrayed as the embodiment of oversexed evil. That said, I actually really enjoyed the movie. Its portrayal of the changes in a Detroit neighborhood was chock full of the sort of pathos I want from the big screen. And Clint Eastwood did a beautiful send up of his iconic role as steely-eyed badass (I've generally been a fan of his movies, something I can say about few other actor/directors). He had me just where he wanted me, even pulling a few tears at the end. Yeah, I said it, I said it in Hurley, New York, I said it: Clint Eastwood made me cry.

After the movie we went across the food court to Rolling Rock, the in-mall restaurant/bar. We were skeptical at first, entering at first as more of an ironic bit of performance art than as a desire to patronize the place. But it turned out to be a wonderful place, with clean surfaces, cozy booths, unobtrusive flat screens, and 60s-era decor. Best of all, the food and drinks were reasonably good (though Penny did have to doctor up her drink with limes and an additional shot of vodka). Gretchen and I will be going back soon. Who knew the Hudson Valley Mall was so fun?

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