buckets of hail
Monday, June 24 2013
A series of increasingly vicious thunderstorms blew through this afternoon. The last one dumped enormous amounts of pea-sized hail on the ground. Before melting, the white balls lay there cluster four or five to the square inch in all directions. Fortunately, though, there were apparently not of a destructive size, since the hasta, the brassicas, and unshielded light bulbs all came through the experience unscathed (something that didn't happen during a hail storm back in 2008). There was enough rain to completely fill the water barrel that collects from the woodshed roof, which (at 12 feet by seven feet), requires a lot of rain to do.
The plan tonight was for Gretchen and me to watch This is the End with Ray and Nancy, but they flaked out so Gretchen and I chose to have a sort of date night instead. I even took a bath, though it was cut a bit short since I started it at around 5pm.
Initially we wanted to go to La Florentina and have a red cabbage calzone, but it turns out that La Florentina is closed on Mondays. There aren't a lot of good options in the greater 9W area, so in the end we had a semi-ironic meal at the Olive Garden, where our waitress proved so incompetent that we stiffed her several percentage points on the tip. The Olive Garden is, as I've said before, not the sort of place Gretchen and I normally go. But what made this meal even more poignant were the people there to celebrate their birthdays. I'll bet the Olive Garden has to have a site license for the singing of "Happy Birthday to You," a copyrighted work nearly as repulsive as Windows ME.
We saw This is the End at the mall cineplex in a theatre no more than a quarter full. I had big hopes for the movie, but in the end I found it disappointing. It had a number of refreshing things about it that really could have worked if the movie had been better written and more tightly edited. But long stretches of it seemed to drag, and the dialog was nowhere near as good as in all the other Seth Rogan movies I have enjoyed. At times it felt like rambling in-joke; I really don't care about actors as people, but in this movie we're expected to. Nevertheless, starring its actors and actresses as themselves is a mostly unprecedented thing. And putting them in the context of a Rapture where they are all left behind has real comic potential. And the final scenes, the ones where we're taken up into Heaven to see the continuous party in the clouds, left me with a much better feeling about the movie than I otherwise would have had. As for Gretchen, she seemed to like This is the End a lot more than I did. But if we'd been watching it at home, it's doubtful I would have sat through the whole thing and ever seen those good scenes at the end.
By the end of the movie, I was in desperate need of a drink of water. The delicious minestrone soup at the Olive Garden is uncommonly salty, and the only beverages I'd drunk there had been alcoholic. (I like the Italian Margarita.) Unfortunately, when I went to drink from a water fountain at the cineplex, the water was so cold that it turned my teeth into pain probes stabbing uncomfortably close to my brainpan.
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