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austin_dern

July 2017

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May. 24th, 2017

Our movie was The Red Turtle, seen in the Annex Room. This is their third screening room, the one we didn't know existed, out far past the main theater and even the tiny screening room with the organ. The Annex Room is new, opened just a few months ago we think, using seats salvaged from the State Theater which is being renovated. It was tiny; maybe ten rows, about six seats across. No organ.

The movie, though? [profile] bunny_hugger knew a little about it, that it was a wordless film about a shipwrecked sailor and the turtle he finds on an island. I knew even less, that it was an animated movie [profile] bunny_hugger thought worth seeing. It was beautifully done, precisely animated and with some fantastic choices, particularly in the shifting between color and black-and-white pieces.

The movie has a big scene about a third of the way in, when the sailor confronts the turtle he (justifiably) blames for keeping him trapped on the island. And in that confrontation the movie changes its tone, and upends the way I had expected the story to go. It's a dramatically successful one, I'd say. And it makes for a movie that's overall beautiful and appealing. We were talking about it for a good while afterward and I keep going back thinking about it.

After the movie we did a lot of prowling around photographing the Michigan Theatre and wondering if I'd ever see a movie in the main room. (They'd had a concert that day.) Well, sometime.

Then we went across the street to the Dawn Treader used book store, partly to see if we might come across any of the featured bad books from the I Don't Even Own A Television podcast. I don't think we did, but it's always reassuring to visit there and I did find some science fiction novels that look wonderfully mid-80s mediocre and that I'll get to over the summer or maybe on an airplane flight.

While walking across the University of Michigan campus we noticed a great number of sets of folding chairs. Each had a blue or a yellow label covering it. It wasn't a mass of chairs in one group as they might put out for a public exhibition, it transpired. The labels explained this was an art installation, and that's why there were clusters of from three to ten chairs saturating the lawn. I don't understand the project, but I know that I like stuff which makes it more convenient to rest in town.

We went across the campus to get to Pinball Pete's. It was the Ann Arbor Pinball Pete's where we first saw signs for the Lansing Pinball League, so the place has even more special meaning as the one that launched us into our new lives as popular folks making up the second tier of the state's players. They still had signs for the first season of the Lansing Pinball League. Also some of the flyers for the third season, which Pinball Pete's had made on its own accord. We would spend a good while there, playing quite a few of the games, including ones that we used to ignore such as No Fear or Nascar. Some of that is the taste for novelty. Some of that is the realization we're better off with a little bit of experience on these tables for the odd tournament where they come into play. And some of it is, you know, why not? It's our time, why not play?

After our fill of playing --- including some attempts at geting onto the high score table on their bruised and battered FunHouse, which was repaired some since [profile] bunny_hugger's previous visit --- we thought about dinner in town. But it was Sunday evening and getting on and our best bet would have been the Fleetwood Diner, just enough of a drive or walk to be unappealing. We just went home, instead.

Postscript: outside Pinball Pete's we could see the storefront for Middle Earth, the longtime head shop that closed maybe a year and a half ago. Nobody had opened a new store there, but someone had put seasonal decorations in the window so it didn't look so barren. This past week [profile] bunny_hugger discovered plans by some former employees(?) to open/reopen the shop, in a new location. Brooklyn. Because ... that's just the world we live in, apparently.

Trivia: Britain's 35,000 soldiers, in the time of the American War of Independence, required about 37 tons of food per day. Their 4,000 horses required another 57 tons. Source: An Edible History of Humanity, Tom Standage.

Currently Reading: The History of the Calculus and its Conceptual Development, Carl B Boyer.

PS: Dabbing and the Pythagorean Theorem, a moment's reblog that will probably be my most popular post of the month.

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