josh (joshc) wrote,

weekend updates: a very long friday

I guess Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire counts toward Friday morning. I liked it a lot, but probably not as much as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban More than any of the other films in the Harry Potter franchise, this one actually a lot of marks to hit to make it through the required story elements and has only ten extra minutes for twice as many pages. To fit all of the major setpieces (world cup, three challenges, required backstory, nightmares, the yule ball, and the big confrontation), some of the extraneous stuff was relegated to cameos and references. Yet, I think while some of setup for the tournament parts seemed diminished, the character development for the principals was pretty decent. Maybe even better than in the text, although this could be a consequence of having read through them quickly. Certainly the emotional content of ball scene and the death at the end seemed more important and human when they had real faces. Similarly, pervy Myrtle was weirder on screen than on the page.

Also, midnight premieres are fun. There were lots of people in costume, including lots of girls in schoolgirl outfits, and a pack of twenty-somethings in homemade House t-shirts and matching scarves. Definitely less intricate than the parade of elaborate Star Wars characters. Another notable difference was the demographic shift. More teenage girls seem to like Harry Potter. Go figure.

I got home, slept for a few hours, and headed off to the office. On the way, I had to pick up snacks for a brown bag lunch thing with one of the investigators. I brought doughnuts from Top Pot and fruit from QFC. It seemed like a good balance of healthy and non-healthy high-sugar foods.

Soon after the lunch ended, I headed off to campus for Carole's dissertation defense. Her presentation and the following Q&A went well, and after a few minutes in hallway exile, her committee announced that she had passed and that we could now call her Doctor Carole. We all went back into the conference room and drank champagne from plastic cups and ate macaroons.

After the on-campus party started breaking up, a bunch of us walked up to Schultzy's for more celebratory eating and drinking. Tim was working, and thanks to his crowd management skills, we were soon able to claim a large table. Because I forgot my wallet in the rush to get to campus, I was relegated to drinking Arnold Palmers and relying on the budgets of others. Luckily, Thomas came to dinner and had a key card to the building and elevator, since my bus pass, money, ID, and ATM cards were all locked away for the weekend.

When dinner ended, I caught a bus with borrowed fare to retrieve my wallet and go to the Death Cab for Cutie / Stars show at the Paramount. I was volunteering for Music for America, although I wasn't completely sure what the message was supposed to be with the next election nearly a year away. I mean, last year was all about "let me help you find your caucus location!", "register to vote!", "let me take your voter registration in on the last day for you", "go out and vote", et c., et c.. Now, I really have no idea. Still, it was a good way to get into a sold out show; so I didn't complain.

The funny part about this volunteering was that there was supposed to be a list with my name on it. Instead, the people at the door acted confused and eventually called over a security guy when I told them that I was working at a table. He escorted me in without too much trouble, but it did seem to reveal a potential security hole for future occasions. Act confident, tell them you're working a table, and get in free with floor access. Seriously, the door guys were really nice to us since we didn't actually have general admission tickets.

The show itself was pretty good. There were teens wearing ankle-tight jeans and sequins. Weird. Although the crowd seemed to be the most excited when Ben Gibbard joined them onstage for a song, Stars were great. Death Cab for Cutie played a wide range of material, including stuff from the olden days, which was cool. The other volunteers and I sort of rotated in and out of the showroom to watch over the table and the Katrina donation box. It was interesting to see the strange people who just wandered around in the lobby during the performance. Only a few of them appeared to be mentally unstable, the rest just appeared to have bought a ticket for a show they didn't care about seeing.

Throughout the evening, the lack of sleep combined with the expectation of interacting with strangers resulted in me acting like a crazy person while I hustled people to give money to hurricane recovery efforts or to sign up for an e-mail list. I found myself hilarious, but I'm not sure if I scared more people than I recruited.

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