Randomness follows me

My friend Chris is a film nut. Every year she makes a huge point to see all of the movies nominated for Best Picture before the Oscars, and for the past few years, I’ve accompanied her to a few of them. Two years ago we cried our eyes our seeing “Million Dollar Baby”. Tonight we saw “Notes on a Scandal” with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett (great writing, excellent acting).

We met up after work at Lucky Strike (enormous bar/bowling alley attached to an equally enormous movie theater, which I had already been to once this week), chatted and chowed for about an hour, and then headed in to find seats.

Chris claims that randomness follows me, and it usually manifests itself in our movie adventures. Tonight was a fairly benign outing — but I did get in trouble by the guy in front of me for kicking his chair. Oops.

Our most memorable outing was to see Brokeback Mountain last year. There’s an old theater with one of those old huge marqees called the Esquire, which is on Oak Street (ritzy shopping street near Michigan Avenue, where the likes of Prada and Barney’s are located). The theater isn’t one of the nicer ones in town, but it usually plays films that are more intellectual or artsy. It’s seats are squeaky and uncomfortable. The screens are small. But it’s in a good location for going straight from work.

That Friday we were celebrating Chris’s birthday, so we’d taken the day off from work. We had lunch at Grand Lux, and then she wanted to stop by her make-up artist (across the street from the Esquire) to have her mix some new foundation for her. (As an aside, I buy make-up at Walgreens, so this was completely outside my realm.) The studio was on the fourth floor of an old storefront building, and it was just two small rooms. When we arrived, the 40ish blonde make-up lady was in the process of painting like a hundred foundation cases, which she was sending to the Tyra Banks show. Chris explained what she needed. I plopped down in a chair.

Then I was asked to throw out my gum, because it aggravated the make-up lady’s vertigo.


So we got the foundation and had a good laugh over the vertigo comment while crossing the street to the theater.

We bought our tickets and proceed up the three escalators (in Chicago most movie theaters are on multiple floors). The theater probably had 20 people in it when we walked in, most all of them sitting as singles. What a motley group! And half of them were sleeping. The other half were old ladies who cast wicked looks if you even thought about sitting by them. Very strange. You would’ve thought for a showing of Brokeback Mountain that there’d be a crew of gay men. Nope.

We saw the two seats we wanted, but one of them was covered by the coat of the old lady sitting directly behind. We sat there anyway. She cussed, then walked out of the theater.

Chris really liked the movie. I thought the scenery was nice, but didn’t think it was worth the hype. But we agreed that our adventure was the best of all.


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