Weekend Wrap-up

Mardi Gras was different this year. It was quite chilly in St. Louis, chillier than usual. So those I annually partake of the Soulard Festivities with decided to take a radical change in plans. We brought Mardi Gras indoors. We brought the alcohol. We brought New Orleans syle music CDs, and They Might Be Giants cds. We had a fun time inside a heated home. I’m told the real They Might Be Giants concert only lasted half an hour. Our concert lasted longer.

But I arrived at this indoors-Mardi Gras at approximately 2:30 pm. From noon until 2 I watched Ghost Rider at the Theater of the Broken Heart. (aka Creve Coeur Cine) I’ve not read much of the comic series, so I didn’t have that to compare it to, but I was told that it compared well, though some attributes of two different Ghost Riders were combined into one.

As some of you know I am a leader of a local group of science fiction fans who refer to ourselves as the USS Discovery. The group’s been around since the 1980s. It is this group that went rafting earlier this year. It is also this group that goes wine tasting all over Missouri and Illinois. So we have other interests besides SciFi.

I have been their “Commanding Officer” for 2 years, and was re-elected to a second two-year term on Sunday. I told them they were all insane, but I worry what that makes me.

Sunday evening a few of us rented Little Miss Sunshine from a local Blockbusters. It’s up for Best Picture, and Alan Arkin is up for Best Supporting Actor, and Abigail Breslin is up for Best Supporting Actress. She’s only 10 years old, or I’d have predicted she’d win it. One ten-year-old winner of an Oscar in the history of the Oscars is probably more than one can expect, and Tatum ONeal already did it.

But I think the movie is well-deserving. I like comedies in general. As Victor Hugo said, “Laughter is the sunshine that wipes winter from the human face.” This wasn’t gag-comedy in the tradition of Airplane or National Lampoon’s Vacation. However, I think there were a couple homages to Vacation, and there was definitely riotous laughter in the room in a handful of scenes.

I worry if Breslin wins the award (or perhaps even if she doesn’t) that someone will blow a key scene for those who haven’t seen the film yet. The movie does build up to a climax, and the viewer knows something is coming. Often in these circumstances the scene is a let-down; and I was fearing it would be. I couldn’t imagine how they could provide a satisfying conclusion to the build-up. They did. But if I knew in advance a key part of that finale, I don’t think I would have received the same amount of enjoyment.