best laid plans


-- चार हजार दो सौ और अस्सी-तीन --

Last night I shot myself in the foot, metaphorically speaking. At least I learned a valuable lesson.

I was going to take myself to see a movie called Goldstone, which I knew nothing about except that it was a movie I found on the Meridian 16 schedule this week and it has a more-than-respectable rating of 78 on MetaCritic. It also sounds fascinating. The turnaround was tight, with a 5:50 showtime, so I only had about ten minutes at home before needing to turn around and head back downtown again. I made myself a sandwich for dinner and ate it while walking.

The thing is, I checked in with the MoviePass app too early. It was around 5:00 when I was walking home, and I figured, since I was within the space of 100 yards or whatever their criteria is, I checked in for the 5:50 showing at that time. In the past I have pushed the boundaries slightly with these parameters and it worked fine -- I can usually check in from as far away as Broadway, which is definitely farther away than 100 yards. Although maybe not by a huge amount. The other part of it is that the check-in holds for thirty minutes, and I checked in fifty minutes early instead. I should have waited until I was on my way back downtown again, but I was thinking I would get it out of the way earlier when I was walking home at first.

Well, this caused a bit of a clusterfuck. And MoviePass's customer service exists somewhere between nonexistent and designed specifically to discourage its use -- frustrating, but honestly perhaps a small price to pay for the stunning deal it offers (as much as one movie per day at no further cost than an average of $10 a month, or, as in my case, an average of $7.50 per month after purchasing a discounted annual pass through Costco for $90 -- which, honestly, I'll be stunned if it's still for sale that way in a year). The app does not work in any clear-cut way, apparently, if you check in too early, the hold expires, and the showtime is all of twenty minutes after that.

I tried using the MoviePass at a self-service kiosk as usual, and at three different kiosks I got an error message saying it wasn't working "due to a technical error," or something to that effect. It suggested I speak with a customer service person -- also a slight complication, since Regal has redesigned their lobby to be all-kiosks except for one live cashier, which often results in an annoyingly long line of people, all of them ignoring the kiosks. If the kiosks are working properly, I'm more than happy to use them instead of getting in that line.

So, I got behind enough people for three other transactions before mine, right at the time the movie was supposed to start, at 5:50. The young lady tried swiping my card there, and that didn't work either. I had tried the app's suggestion of canceling the hold, and it would never work -- I would get a pop-up screen saying it had been canceled, but then when I clicked "current holds," it would still show as an active hold. But, the card swipe would never work. The young lady said it was an issue with connecting to the app properly, and there was nothing she could do. I didn't get angry at her; I know none of this was her fault, or even Regal's fault. It's MoviePass's shoddy system -- but, okay, also my own failure to follow their directions. If I had waited until at the very least 5:20 to check in, everything would have gone through just fine. Trying to contact them through the customer service chat was something I already knew to be a dead end -- in the unlikely event someone responded at all, by the time they did, the movie would have already started.

It was nearly 6:00 when I finally gave up and accepted the fact that I would not be seeing a movie last night. I would have gone tonight instead, except that with new movie schedules shuffling things every Thursday evening, Goldstone actually has the same schedule this evening as it did yesterday, with one exception -- no 5:50 screening. 3:10 is way too early, and 8:45 is way too late. So, no movie-going tonight either.

-- चार हजार दो सौ और अस्सी-तीन --


-- चार हजार दो सौ और अस्सी-तीन --

I do have two more movies to see this weekend, however, one tomorrow evening (Ready Player One) and one Saturday morning (Isle of Dogs). A new turn of events this morning, however, means Laney, who was going to join me for both, is now unable to join me for either -- even though I purchased our tickets to Ready Player One already, back on Monday on my way home from work. She promises she'll still pay me back for her ticket, although I'm not sure I will insist on that. Maybe now I can convince Shobhit to come with me.

Laney has acute bronchitis, which is contagious, and today feels worse again rather than better. She emailed to cancel these movie plans we've literally had for weeks. This was my favorite part of this morning's email:

I am going to start naming the creatures that I'm coughing up. Even though I flush them down the toilet, they are a part of me and should have names.

She later told me "This morning's favorite name is Molly Globule."

She has told me in emails, more than once now, that she hasn't gotten this sick in at least ten years. I feel really bad for her and hope she gets better soon, for her own sake. Not just because then she'll stop canceling plans with me.

Easter is on Sunday, and at the very least I know that's not going to get canceled. Right now the Facebook Event Sherri created -- as she does now with every holiday get-together -- has ten confirmed to be in attendance, counting children and counting Dad and Sherri themselves. If it's limited to that number it'll be roughly half than last year, but it's entirely possible more than that will come. Britni and her boyfriend David haven't even yet responded and I can imagine them coming; Gina's son David isn't even on Facebook. And ten to thirteen people is a perfectly comfortable number anyway, to be honest. I'm really looking forward to it either way, as I always do. Interestingly, it looks like only immediate family and their descendants are on the invite this year -- I wonder if that was deliberate? I don't see Toni Marie or Jennifer listed as invitees.

Anyway, Shobhit and I are bringing both a salad and our own batch of deviled eggs. I'm thinking we should maybe consider it a default to bring salad to all of these things from now on; that way we won't always be asking about any other salad if it's vegetarian, and they don't have to worry about it.

-- चार हजार दो सौ और अस्सी-तीन --

So, after coming back home last night, Shobhit and I watched the third episode of the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country, and then I finished the HBO documentary The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling in the bedroom before going to bed.

-- चार हजार दो सौ और अस्सी-तीन --

. . . And, just now, I got back from lunch with Karen down at the Six-Seven restaurant at the Edgewater Hotel. This season's first Social Review point for someone other than Shobhit! He's already got three points and is poised to get one or two more this weekend. He's always #1 but he's coming out way ahead right up front this time around, which should please him.

I asked Karen if we could split the gyro today, because "I've been gaining weight and I need to lay off the macaroni for a minute." I weighed in at 150 lbs even this morning and that was, mercifully, down 1.3 lbs from yesterday. Say all you want about how weight fluctuates normally regardless of your food intake. I have literally years now of recorded weights that consistently go up or down in proportion to how much I am eating, even on a daily basis. This is the right direction and I want to keep it there.

Now, probably because we are now well-recognized regulars, the gyro halves were brought out to us on our own individual plates. That was much appreciated, but it also meant we each got our own side of potato chips and dip, the same amount for each of us that would have come on a single-serve dish. Oh well. I just need to not snack on anything between now and dinner.

We talked about books and real estate and a few other things, a lovely and pleasant lunch as always.

-- चार हजार दो सौ और अस्सी-तीन --


[posted 1:17 pm]