Sunday, November 20, 2005
Ah, freedom. It's what happens to other people who don't have kids. Or it's what happens to me when my mom is visiting and I'm able to suppress my conscience long enough to exploit her mercilessly and stick her with my screaming children while Mrs. Pops and I make a run for it.

Ostensibly it was to do some Christmas shopping for the kids. Which we did. For about an hour. But then, well, it's 6 pm, she's already just two short hours from putting them to bed, after which they will be asleep or at the very least shut in dark rooms behind mostly sound-proof doors. Either way, we'll be far enough away that we won't be able to tell either way. So dinner and a movie, yes? Yes.

And hey, maybe we can go to one of those fancy new places with the linen non-kid-proof table cloths and where they don't even have high chairs as a seating option. And maybe we can get in quickly because we're only a party of two instead of five. And maybe we can only concentrate on cutting our own food and then get through a whole meal without having to fetch dropped crayons or threaten to drag anyone outside and spank them.*

Or ooh! Maybe we can just sit there and eat and not say anything at all. And eat slowly so that we might taste something, even if by accident. And enjoy a nice leisurely crème brulée afterward instead of rushing out because you can't take it anymore and wouldn't it look bad if you strangled (not to death, but still strangled) a deceptively helpless-looking child right there in front of fellow patrons.

Arrive at the movie half an hour early just to sit there in the seat and... just sit. Endure "The 2wenty" so you can savor the sweet, sweet preview of heady adult fare like that movie about the guy who can fly or the other one about the monkey who fights dinosaurs or the opportunity to be bored once again by M. Night Shyamalan, if only for a moment.

As promised (and much to my surprise), we saw the new Harry Potter movie. It was pretty good, especially Ralph Fiennes camping it up at the end as a scarily nose-less Lord Voldemort.

Removing a man's whole nose. That was quite an effect. There were also dragons and mer-people and flying carriages and the barely-animated wood-carving that plays Ron Weasley.

The most astonishing special effect was the introduction (in a bit role) of Harry Potter's first crush. On a girl! The astonishing thing was that somehow--and I will never, ever know how they did this--they made it seem like there was this Chinese girl who spoke with Scottish accent. At first it was jaw-dropping, the boldness of something so patently ridiculous, but then it kind of ruined the movie for me. There's only so much disbelief I can suspend. I was with them when the living hedgemaze ate the French lady, but a Scottish Chinese girl? Please.

Everyone knows Asians can only be found in two places: 1) Asia and 2) America, specifically New York and California. That's it. San Francisco Chinatown, fine. Glasgow Chinatown? I think not.

First of all, Scotland is miserably wicked cold. Why would anyone leave Asia, bypass America to go twice as far just to get to cold-ass Scotland?

Second of all, English is a hard enough language to learn when you're learning regular English like we speak in America. If you add on all that fancy Scottish brogueing and the task is nearly impossible.

Third, everyone knows the Ethnic Food franchise in the UK has been exclusively purchased by India and Pakistan. It's all curry this and kebab that. There's no room for a kung pao anything. And thus the Asians have no work.

I'm sure there might be some fringe work in dry-cleaning or blowing the math (sorry, "maths") curve in public schools, but I don't think that's enough to support an entire ethnic population. To be honest, I'm not sure Scots even launder their clothes that often, let alone dry-clean. The economic picture is bleak.

Still, kudos to the Harry Potter people for trying something new, even if it failed ultimately. Scottish Chinese girls. Hmm. It's amazing what can be done with computers these days.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.9


*= not even the hot seating-hostess lady. Mrs. Pops doesn't like it when I flirt.


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