A Good Yarn

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Weekend Update

The weekend update is a little late this week because it's been another busy one. This weekend was Red's 8th birthday, so I had the good fortune to spend time with him all weekend long. It's hard to believe it's already been 8 years since he was born - I distinctly remember when Bill called and told me he was born. It was when I was thinking about going back to school to get a Ph.D. in psychology, so I was working on a research study at the U of MN. I was in the lab, as we were preparing to run a subject through the experiment. How much life has changed since then, but how much is still the same.

Friday night I took Red to Toys R Us to buy a birthday present. His mom buys him a ton of toys, so it's hard to know what he has and what he doesn't, so I decided the easiest and probably most of fun thing would be to go shopping with him and let him pick it out. He chose a Power Rangers semi-truck. Then we met up with Greg and Michael and had some dinner. Red and Michael just love each other and always have fun together. Red really looks up to Michael since he's a bit older and I think Michael gets a kick out of that.

Saturday was Talk Cinema, and we saw this film:

I didn't care for it, but the comments from the audience afterward were almost all positive. Peter O'Toole plays an aging actor who falls in love with his best friend's great niece, a woman a good 60 years younger than he is. I didn't really care for that aspect of the film. I felt uncomfortable with the overt sexuality of the relationship and with the way the younger woman used and humiliated the old man for her own needs. I also felt a lot of what happens in the film is pretty predictable and we've seen it before. I don't want to get into too much of what happens so as to ruin it, but it just didn't connect with me. I'm a huge O'Toole fan and he does do a wonderful job in the film. I especially loved the scenes where he's acting in films, where he's with his two theater friends and my favorites are the scenes with his ex-wife, played by Vanessa Redgrave. There seemed to be so much feeling and true connection between these two, that I really wanted to see more of that relationship and less of his chase for youth with the young girl.

Saturday night, Michael and I met up with Red, Bill and their family to see this:

Yes, indeed, I went to Monster Truck Jam. I'm not sure how I managed to live almost 40 years without going to one, but I did. It's not something I'd do on my own, but the boys loved it and it was really interesting. I had no idea these things were so popular - there were more people there than you'd find at your average Timberwolves game. Of course, Monster Truck Jam only comes around every so often and is much, much less expensive than an NBA game. I also didn't realize that this was set up as a competition. The first part is a race through an obstacle course, with trucks racing each other in pairings in a bracket system. Then there's a "free style" competition where the trucks can do whatever they want for 90 seconds and the truck with the best response from the audience wins. The freestyle competition is what draws the interest, with all sorts of things getting driven over and through and the trucks doing wheelies and donuts, etc. The boys begged to go back again when they come back in January.

Michael spent the night at Bill's place on Saturday night so I went and picked him up Sunday morning and we picked up the cake while Bill's family went to church and then we went to Red's actual birthday party. He chose a local rec center where they had roller skating, one of those climbing areas and videogames. I stayed for the birthday presents and cake, but then went out to watch the rest of the Vikings game. Ugh. Michael was just exhausted from such a busy weekend and fell asleep in the car on the way back to their house. It went fast, but it was indeed a fun weekend.