01 December 2009

NYC Bytes

In St. Barths, our entertainment schedule is easy: cocktails on the deck, dinner out at an open air restaurant or at home in our open air dining room, then stare at non-working tv set for 20 minutes (it's a kind of meditation-- instead of saying "Ohmmmm" or some other word of choice, one just settles into mindfulness looking at an unmoving screen with a message inside a rectangle that says "Trying to connect with Satellite, Chill"), then to bed where one reads the same paragraph one has been reading for a week and instantly awakens to blue skies, sun dappling the blue-green bay, and the breeze riffling the palm fronds.

In New York City, the schedule is a little more complex. Take the Thanksgiving weekend, for example. Pinks spent five days cooking thirteen dishes while I submissively ran errands or hid out in the office where my cell doesn't work and I can push the "do not disturb" button on my desk phone (or would, if I could figure out how to do that on a phone so high-tech I cannot figure out how to answer it). The easy part for me was Thanksgiving Day proper, when fifteen people, ranging in age from four months to 81 years, gathered in our living room (about half the size of our tiny plunge pool in Paradise) ate all thirteen of Pinks' delicious dishes while I sliced turkey. Unlike the scenario in so many holiday movies, the relatives, siblings, grandchildren, and friends all played nice. Piece of cake. Pies, actually. Four of them, not counting the cupcakes.

Then came Black Friday. No, we did not go shopping, but our darling 12 yr. old granddaughter Emily was in from Ohio, with her mom and younger sister Hannah. Emily was eager to see the Twilight movie called New Moon which had set afire box offices across the country the previous weekend. I checked the schedule. Ugh. No way out. It was playing just about every hour at every other theatre in Manhattan. I am a good grandfather and I had already put my foot down about joining Pinks and the girls for an umpteenth visit to the current Broadway production of Mamma Mia the following day. Even grandfathers have rights.

But on this one I was trapped. New Moon it was, and I accompanied Pinks and the three girls to the movie. Me and one thousand females of all ages. Pinks had no trouble sitting through the previews and then slumping down in her seat, putting her head on my shoulder and sinking immediately into a drooling in rem sleep for the next two hours. Perhaps I too would have slept were I not so uncomfortable because of my wet shirt.

So let me share my New Moon experience and save you twelve dollars:

A moody teenager falls in love with a vampire who thinks he is channeling James Dean. She is eighteen and he is two hundred and nine, but she abjures age discrimination and wants him to bite her. But before he became a vampire he was a guy, so even now he is unable to commit. While he dithers, she acts out by taking her first-ever motorcycle ride at 50 mph, the bike skids, she soars through the air and lands with an unprotected-head first impact on a conveniently placed trailside boulder. Any mortal would be dead, and the as yet unbitten Miss Moody certainly qualifies. No such luck. Even this catastrophic crash fails to end her misery. Or mine. Instead, our heroine incurs but a wound so minor we see only a slim trickle of blood coming down from her scalp. Her motorcycle instructor races to the scene, and instead of calling 911, he (gasp) rips off his filthy t-shirt, and ineffectively blots some of the blood trickle. Yuck. But this is not House or ER and sepsis does not set in. This is an important scene because when he takes off his shirt, we see that the motorcycle guy is really Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing a younger guy's head. She stares at his six-pack and instantly recovers. She must have kept his sweat stained schmatte because the re-capitated Arnold walks around shirtless for the remainder of the film. Well, not exactly always, because sometimes he wears a heavy brown fur coat, but only when he is wolf. (You mean you didn't know he was a werewolf? Darn, I've spoiled it for you.) Finally, Arnold runs off though I am not sure whether it is because Miss Moody prefers to be eaten by a vampire rather than a wolf, or because Arnold loves her too much to eat her himself. (Btw, did you know that wolves can kill vampires, but not within a prescribed territory set out in a treaty?) In the end, Werewolf Arnold runs off, Vampire Dean runs off, and we are left with this pining, whining teenage girl who is in desperate need a good shot upside the head. Get over it already!

Oh, in an obvious effort to maintain the suspense over the next decade of Twilight films, the writers (!) of this film do not tell us whether Vampire Dean eventually bites Miss Moody. Not to worry, I have impeccable sources: Emily has read the book seven times and assures me the Vampire gets the girl every time.

I can hardly wait till Christmas.

A bientot.

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