Friday, February 09, 2007

Galaxy Quest - The Perfect Movie

My husband (it still gives me such a thrill to write that!) and I watched one of our favorite movies this evening, Galaxy Quest . It literally has everything you could possibly want in a movie - a spaceship, Thermians from the Klatu Nebula, tons of hilarious lines (Tony Shalhoub's seemingly stoned character is a source of tremendous amusement), a bit of romance, not to mention a meaningful revelation about the true nature of entertainment. The sound is quite good, the digital effects great (though the makeup of Sarris and his crew could have been a little more form-fitting around the mouth, not looking so puppet-like), and the writing genius.

For those not familiar with the movie, it revolves around Tim Allen playing an actor named Jason Nesmith, whose claim to fame was a science fiction show in the 80s called Galaxy Quest, which he "commanded". Along with his faithful crew (Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, and Daryl Mitchell), they are a passé passel whose only appearances are at sci-fi conventions. At one particular convention, Jason is approached by people, who he believes to be fans in costume, looking to hire him for a gig. They are in fact aliens (the aforementioned Thermians from the Klatu Nebula) seeking the help of "Commander Peter Quincy Taggert" to defeat their enemy. They know of all the Galaxy Quest missions from the "historical documents" which they received by satellite many years ago, the morals of which they have used to rebuild their society after a planetary cataclysm.

Some of my favorite lines:

JASON (Tim Allen): They were called Termites, or something... I don't really remember because I was hung over.

GWEN (Sigourney Weaver): At least you had a part. You had a character people loved! My TV Guide interview was six paragraphs about my boobs and how they fit into my suit. How did I perfect my trademark sidesaddle pose? Nobody ever bothered to ask what I do on the ship...
FRED (Tony Shalhoub): You were the, uh... Wait, I'll think of it...
GWEN: I repeated the computer. "It's getting hotter, Commander!" "The ship is disintegrating, Commander!" Nothing I did EVER affected the plot, not ONCE! Nothing I did was ever taken seriously!

JASON: You will go out there!
ALEXANDER: I won't, and nothing you say will make me.
JASON: [after a pause] The show must go on.
ALEXANDER: ... Damn you.

Those of you reading this probably know I never have a single favorite anything (color, song, book, actor), and it'll be no surprise that I don't have a favorite character from this movie. They're all amazing in their own way: Jason, particularly when he realizes the true damage that the show has done to the Thermian society; Gwen, when she patently refuses to accept the reasoning behind having "chompers" on a spaceship; Alex, when he is faced with the truth that continuing to play a role he despises has allowed his biggest fan to die happy; Fred, allowed to bring his natural mellowness to the rigidly disciplined Thermians, who find it strange but satisfying; Guy, who finds he is not the expendable crewman he has always believed he was; Tommy, who is brought down a notch when he discovers he has to fly a real-live spaceship; and finally Mathesar, who learns he can command his people.

Rent Galaxy Quest today! :-)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Voyage à Paris - Day 6

The return home. Ten hours of travelling when you're fevered, chilled, nauseated, achy and exhausted is really quite unpleasant.

I spent a pretty restless night, tossing, turning, and repeatedly crawling to the bathroom, though nothing came out. My whole body ached: I felt like I'd been pummelled. So I was very tired and not to steady on my pins packing in the morning for our afternoon flight.

Andrew slept a bit in the taxi on the way to the airport. I took in the few sights I could from the highways - Montmartre, in particular stood out on that grey morning. The cabbie encountered some strange roadblock near the airport, but still got us there in plenty of time for our flight. I tipped him ten euros for our 30 euro ride, and he actually protested that it was too much. I thanked him and told him he deserved it for being so patient at the roadblock.

The flight was hell. There was only one working bathroom, and the working one was about four feet away from me. The smells didn't help my rebellious stomach, and I was freezing cold. I did not once enter that bathroom, however. I saved everything for home.

Skipping over the details, I lost 13 pounds in the next three days. In the end, Pepto-Bismol was all I needed.

They say one in two people has a chance of becoming sick during a foreign holiday. I've been sick nearly every time we go somewhere. I love my new husband, but it's his turn next time.

Ghost towns of America

I have been to the shiny U.S. of A three times in the past three years, moving further out into New York state each time; Buffalo, Rochester, and the weekend before Easter past, Syracuse. But don't bother going yourself.

There is nobody there.

When we went to Buffalo a few years ago, we stayed at a hotel downtown. Besides the hotel staff and the members of the orchestra we watched, I think we saw about five people during the entire weekend. Even at the theater, I think we were the only two people in the room.

In Rochester, it wasn't as bad, but still pretty empty. We saw more people at the (then) soon-to-be-opening ferry terminal than in the downtown core. That was the exciting thing to do at the time, check on the progress of its construction. Still, there were more seagulls at the ferry terminal than people. Oh wait, we did go see a movie there too. All older people, though. (Not that we'd want to hang out with people our own age because we're both too shy to just walk up and start talking to someone.)

I don't get it. Do Americans have a statute of limitations on existence? They can only be in our dimension 9-5, Monday to Friday? Do they wear invisible clothes during the weekend? Or do they just do all their business in town and live in the outskirts?

Reason, of course, dictates that the latter is the most likely. Then it makes me think about how the whole mentality of city-building seems to be different in the US compared to Canada: here, we build and try to surround our homes with everything we need, within a short distance; in America they build their homes in one area, and businesses and entertainment in a completely separate area.

There are pros and cons to each type of design. Pro-Canada: less driving. Pro-America: more SUVs. (Yes, I know, this is a gross generalization.) Do you get more Whuffie from being environmentally friendly and walking to work, or from driving a big black monster with 23-inch black-on-black rims that looks shiny and impressive but is probably compensating for some lack in your life? Do you get more Whuffie if you leave your work at work and take the time to relax at home, or if you are diligent and live close to your work so you can go back at a moment's notice?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cats and Canals

I went skating today with Andrew. We tried to go skating on the Rideau Canal during the historic First Visit in university (gosh, what was that, February 1999?), but it was tremendously slushy and pitted, and I was wearing Andrew's mom's skates, which were too big. My feet were also very cold. We only made it to the first turn before I begged off.

This time, the weather couldn't have been better. It was only a few degrees below zero, just a breeze, and it was snowing lightly. I had bought myself a pair of thick skates at Canadian Tire using one of the gift cards we got as a wedding present, and they fit perfectly. Best part? They're insulated. Oooh. Aaah. It was a completely beautiful day.

During the course of the day, I only fell four times, all four times on the same side. It was only by lucky happenstance that each time I fell, I was wearing my glasses; most of the time they were so fogged up I put them in my left pocket. But each time I put them back on I fell a few minutes later. One time I even fell as I was saying, "It's a good thing I'm wearing my glasses, otherwise they'd break in my--argh!"

By the third fall my kiester was really starting to hurt, and by the fourth my fingers and toes were quite chilled. Apple cider can only do so much. Near the end, though, this really nice girl walked up (she was leaving) and asked me if my hands were cold. She handed me two disposable warming pads, about the size of teabags. Oooh, they were nice.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend V. sent a picture out of her mother's kitten. Kitten wanted to play one night and mother kicked her...and broke the kitten's leg. She felt horrendous, and the photo shows a teensy kitten with a huge cast.

Well, we got home from skating, had a wonderful spaghetti dinner, and trekked upstairs to bed. Our kitten was lying on top of a clothes hamper, the kind with a lid. (He stands on it during the day to look out our bedroom window.) I pushed at the kitten, to try to get him off the hamper. Wouldn't budge. So, I started to tip the hamper over to get him to slide off. Well, doesn't the little bugger get his paw stuck in the handle of the lid and start making the most gawdawful noise. He manages to extricate himself after writhing frantically, and runs out of the room down the stairs. I already feel horrendous and I don't know if he's actually hurt or not. Andrew calls out, "What the hell happened?" And then I hear, "Oh, that's not good."

I am paralyzed in our room, afraid to come out lest I petrify the poor thing, the words "abusive cat-mommy" ringing through my head. "Is he bleeding?" I ask. "Is he okay?" He was apparently curled up on the stairs, protecting the leg that had gotten stuck. We were afraid for a while he'd broken his leg too, but after a bit he was running around again (away from me). I felt absolutely terrible. He got lots of treats and pets after that incident, for which he has since forgiven and forgotten.