Halloween in Woodstock, 2014
Friday, October 31 2014
On the drive to the Wall Street House today, a squirrel ran out of the side of Hurley Mountain Road and under the side of my car as I approached Wynkoop. There was nothing I could do; I felt a slight bump and saw the poor guy twitching in the roadway. I hadn't killed a mammal with my car (that I know of) in many years; the last of my victims was a rabbit on Route 209 near the railroad crossing (which, side note, has recently become a real railroad crossing with blinking lights and motorized gates). The new house has me driving a lot more, and the more one drives, the more one kills. It's just math.
At the house, I did some light sanding of the spackled walls, vacuumed up what I could of the dust, and then proceeded to paint the walls from top to bottom with primer. I also did a sanity check with the sink hoses I'd just bought and found that 16 inches was not going to be long enough.
This evening Gretchen and I went to Woodstock for a movie and dinner, but first we stood around in front of the bookstore to take in the spectacle of hundreds of people dressed up as various things for Halloween. Most of the people had settled for just putting something on their heads, but there were many in full outfits. The most elaborate were a boxy robot and creepy four-legged beast covered with hair and moss propelled on the inside by a fully-erect human. There were many children who were trick-or-treating the businesses up and down Tinker Street. A couple little girls who must have been about nine looked as though they had dressed up as prostitutes. Their faces looked like those you see in a child beauty pageant, though they were wearing short skirts and strappy tops that were completely inappropriate to the autumn chill that had settled on the area. Tinker Street had been closed down for the event, but occasionally huge trucks and Adirondack Trailways buses would be led through the crowd at a walking pace.
The movie was Dear White People at Tinker Street Theatre. It's about racial politics at an elite fictitious University in contemporary times. I wanted to like the movie, and, though I found it fairly watchable, it left me feeling kind of meh. It's hard for me to feel as though there is much at stake when a drama is set on a college campus, and the wordy, highly-stylized, unpleasantly-intellectual nature of the movie grated on me. There was also the matter of the white characters tending to be cartoonish in comparison to the black characters, though this might have just been a sly reversal of what happens in most mainstream movies having only token black characters. Perhaps the worst thing of all about the movie was the nearly-complete absence of humor.
I haven't been watching many contemporary movies, so I wondered if this one was pioneering or just exemplifying the use of graphical overlays on the scenes to represent what is happening on smart phones used by the characters.
After the movie, we tried to go to Catskill Mountain Pizza, but that place was packed, so we went to Rick's Woodfired (right next to the theatre) instead. I like both pizza places, but was more in the mood for the Catskill Mountain experience. Gretchen had really liked Dear White People and wanted to talk about it, but I did't have much to say. What I did say caused her to say things like, "Wow, you're really white." But if I have to enjoy humorless overly-stylized movies set on college campuses to exorcize my inner-klansman, then there is no hope.
They no longer can make a vegan version of the 'Shrooms pizza at Rick's, presumably because they don't actually have a carton of mushrooms in their refrigerator. All their mushrooms are pre-mixed into some sort of porcini cheese sauce from which they cannot be extracted. So I opted for the eggplant pizza, which was just as good (if not a little better).
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