I took myself to another movie last night, this one rather a disappointment: Final Portrait, starring Geoffrey Rush and Armie Hammer. I thought I would like it more than I did. But, hey, it's apparently the 10th movie for which I've used my year-long MoviePass, which cost me ninety bucks, so at this point it was basically free.
I suppose I'm slightly more liable to go see movies I'm not quite as certain I'll enjoy now. I've gotten many comments over the years about how my reviews are 90% good reviews, B or higher, and it's always amazed me how often I've had to explain this: it's not that hard to be able to gauge beforehand, the vast majority of the time, that I'm going to like a movie. And why the fuck would I go out of my way to pay for a movie I already know is going to suck? You want more reviews of bad movies with bad grades, then fucking pay me to write them! I'm doing this as a hobby, not as a career.
And, every once in a while, I still get questioned as to whether I ever "thought about" writing reviews for a living. Some people still, amazingly, are unaware of how completely not lucrative movie-reviewing is anymore. People like Roger Ebert -- or A.O. Scott or Peter Travers -- just don't get made in the 21st century, when the Internet Era has long since been established, and people posting movie reviews online are worth way less than a dime a dozen. I've been doing it now for nearly fourteen years, since late 2004, and back then there were far fewer people doing it than there are now. I really do it just for myself, as I love movies and writing and writing about movies, and the maybe one or two dozen readers who check out my reviews on a regular basis.
I was just asked that specifically -- about movie reviewing and making a living at it -- by Garret, Gabriel's brother, at Gabriel's birthday dinner last Friday. I basically explained all of the above to him, but I only thought later of something else I should have mentioned -- I still could have tried to get more in the way of payment for my reviews, such as the couple of years about a decade ago when I was getting $25 per review in 'mo Magazine, but since I have literally zero ambition due to otherwise being pretty thoroughly content with my life, I just never saw the point. Why go to the effort -- especially with the massive likelihood of rejection -- when you don't care? Ambition is the product of being perpetually unsatisfied. I do not have that problem.
Theoretically MoviePass, until they realize what a terrible business model they've got going on anyway, would allow me to see more movies more often than I had been in the past. The issue right now is really just that I've either been busy or sick this month, so this was only the 7th movie I managed to go see in April -- the fifth or sixth using MoviePass, though.
I did have some weird issues with the card last night, possibly glitches with a new system they've implemented to prevent customer abuse of the product -- they're currently asking that I take a photo of the movie stub after purchasing it. For some reason the kiosk said I was only approved for $5.25, though, which was weird -- it's supposed to cover up to $15 tickets. I swiped the card a second time and it then said it was only approved for $9.25! Weird. But, when I swiped a third time, it said I already had a ticket at will call and did I want to print. I did, and then it printed my one ticket -- printed at a value of $5.25, even though it was actually a roughly $13 ticket value. But, whatever -- I got the ticket and didn't have to pay extra for it, and that's what matters.
And then I watched the movie and it was kind of disappointing. The showing was at 6:50, so I bused home first, keeping to my intent not to exert myself yesterday (it seems to have helped, a little), but traffic on Denny Way got me home all of about five minutes earlier than if I had just fucking walked. I made myself a veggie hot dog for dinner while Shobhit worked until 5:30, and he was still not home when I left to walk back downtown shortly after 6:00. He was home when I returned after the movie, and I wrote the review, and was in bed shortly after. Shobhit went to bed at the same early-ish time I did, both because he had an early shift this morning and because now he isn't feeling well -- after already having been sick for a couple of weeks last month! He was gargling salt water this morning.
I just got back from lunch with Karen down at the Six-Seven Restaurant at the Edgewater Hotel. Today was so warm that it was the first day all year I did not bring a jacket at all to work -- expected high of 74°, it was already 51° and sunny when I left this morning, and as I write this, it's 65°. It takes about ten minutes to walk down there, and it was quite the nice spring walk.
It's supposed to be even warmer tomorrow -- pushing 80° -- but then Friday we start getting rain. I don't know to what degree that might hamper my Birth Week plans, which, as of today, have confirmed seven botanical gardens I will be visiting with even more than that many people, between Saturday and the following Saturday. I just finalized plans today with Claudia from work and Mimi who retired from work, to go to Kubota Gardens after Claudia gets off work on Friday, May 4; that will be after I go down to SeaTac to visit Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden with Danielle that same afternoon. Actually I'm meeting her at 10 a.m. because she has to be somewhere for Morgan by 1:00.
So, I have hopefully the Rhododendron Botanical Garden with Gabriel and probably Tess on Saturday (#1); the Tulip Festival with Shobhit on my actual birthday, Monday April 30 (#2); Streissguth Gardens with Evan late afternoon on Tuesday May 1 (#3); Bellevue Botanical Garden with Auntie Rose and maybe Valerie on Wednesday May 2 (#4); Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden with Danielle (#5) and Kubota Garden with Claudia and Mimi (#6) on Saturday May 4; and Kruckeberg Botanic Garden with Laney on Saturday May 5 (#7). And that's not even to mention the Puyallup Riverwalk Trail bike ride with Dad on Sunday April 29, or the winery tour and tasting with Shauna at Chateau St Michelle in Woodinville on Sunday May 6. I found some old reference to there being a garden at that winery, but am not certain it's still there -- we both still decided the free tour sounded interesting though.
No garden or park with Lynn and Zephyr; we've scheduled dinner at Northgate on Thursday next week. And Stephanie and I scheduled this year's Birth Week lunch at FareStart on Thursday last year. I just realized I'm not sure I made actual reservations, though. I suppose I should look into that. Oh, and Karen and Dave and Anita will come over for a Birth Week dinner on Sunday the 6th as well.
Anyway, I spent a fair amount of time telling Karen about my Birth Week plans over dinner, and we also talked about PCC's re-branding campaign that happened last September, because the Burien Store's opening date of May 23 was only announced yesterday -- and it will be the first store that actually has the new logo as its storefront sign. (I have increasingly felt the huge effort for otherwise literally overnight changes last September made little difference in the long run, given that storefront signs are by far the most visible representation of our corporate identity, and all ten of the other stores still have the old logo as their storefront signs. But, whatever! I'm just a schmo at the bottom of my totem pole.) Still, I do love our new logo, and Karen had yet to see it, and she was pretty delighted by all the detailed tidbits I had about the thought processes behind it.
We shared the flatbread so lunch was pretty inexpensive today. I walked back to work reading my library book in the sun, still coughing a bit but otherwise enjoying a gorgeous day.
[posted 1:21 pm]