Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Newly Inspired Man

Two nights ago, I lost $20 in two hours playing Texas Holdem. I really shouldn't have used that $10, but in my passion, I went against my better judgment. Oh well. . ..

I felt like crap afterward when I left the poker group then met up with the fiancee, a friend and some his friends on the other side of the River and a nice subway ride. The friend had invited a bunch of people out to celebrate his birthday. I didn't come as a breath of fresh air, but they helped me get my mind off the bad poker game.

Fiancee and I woke up yesterday morning with the intention to visit a mall. We wanted to do some window shopping to get ideas for Christmas shopping.

We never made it to the mall because we ended up lazing around in the morning a little, then my mind stuck on improving my Texas Holdem and Magic, which I felt really horrible about because of a discussion the finacee and I had a couple nights ago.

Like me a couple weeks ago, she feels kind of lonely with her friends all disappeared or just majorly busy. She doesn't want to disturb me, though, because she has had the perception that I've been doing important money making work, job search and thesis work stuff, which I should have been doing. For the last week or so, though, I had ended up just trying to better my Texas Holdem and Magic. Suffice to say, I've felt major guilt about this habit of mine. . ..

So we ended up nixing the mall plan until today, but we decided to go out for dinner and see Charles Ross's One Man Stars Wars Trilogy. The guy does the original Star Wars trilogy in one hour, includes the generally most vital scenes, takes the roles of all the major characters, riffs on some of the cheesiness and does acapella versions of the major themes. You'll have to wait a little longer for my reaction to it.

Until we had to leave, though, we decided that, even though it was stupid, that I could play Texas Holdem on the computer to my heart's content. I played, but I couldn't fulfill my heart of it in the time that I had.

We left for dinner and ate at this new Japanese place in Brookline. The fiancee told me that it had taken the place of Kaya. We had the scallion pancakes for the appetizer. She had some kind of fish. I had the veggie udon. We found the food pleasant enough but nothing outstanding. The wait staff treated us nice enough. They had an interesting hot plate built in the middle of the table, which looks kind of interesting. Also, they had barbeque tables, which sounds interesting. Alas, no veggie plates for the hot plate or the barbeque tables. I probably won't go back, but the fiancee wants to check out the novelty of the barbeque and hot plate.

I still hadn't gotten over my card game compulsion and I had a small headache, so we made our way over to the creperie where I got this huge shot of espresso with a squirt of ginger bread syrup. An interesting drink. I forgot how I phrased my reaction to it, but it was a good one. (Reminder: take notes in Palm of interesting reactions to things.) The espresso didn't necessarily help with the small headache, but it helped me get my mind off of the card playing compulsion and calmed me down a little, emotionally, even though it still made me a little physically jittery and overly reactive to sounds and such. . ..

We didn't get any food at the creperie, but we love it there, especially for breakfast. Very good variety of crepes that generally all taste good.

Then we rush on over to the Wilbur Theater to make sure we didn't have trouble getting our seats. Nice small intimate place that has something of a lounge downstairs with drinks sold in the lobby.

Only problem getting our seats came when the people next to mine had already claimed my assigned seat. Afterward, the fiancee told me that while I went to the bathroom, the people on the other side of us got to their seats and saw that we had taken one of their seats. The fiancee had to have a small academic and common sense altercation with the theater etiquette violators, but once that got settled easily enough, we had no problem with the rest of the audience.

Charles Ross puts on a good show in One Man Stars Wars Trilogy. The one hour show cost us $50 a head, but we felt that every cent we spent on it didn't go wasted. This guy, his crew and Wilbur Theater earned every cent.

It got a little frantic at parts. I got lost during two parts, just plain not knowing what was going on. Everyone else had a good laugh about those parts, though, so I figured just didn't know the trilogy well enough. After all, Mr. Ross means the play for the geeks who have a good idea about the play. For me, a minor Star Wars geek, I followed well enough, found the whole thing quite amusing and felt the non sequitur jabs very fun, very. . ..

Seriously, though, I also found myself with a tear almost creeping out of my eye here or there. Either I could remember the importance in the movie or Mr. Ross added some more emotional depth that the movies didn't have. And honestly, even though those movies had the beginnings of emotional depth, a lot of that really depended on us getting the archetypes and conventions with the minimum of chemistry between the actors, even though with all the stiltedness, Mark Hammil, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford did have some good chemistry with each other, especially with the semi-incestuous humorous love triangle.

Mr. Ross also had a couple great personal touches. The fact that after three years of doing his one man show, he could still laugh at the material really felt refreshing and sincere. He created the impression that he didn't just do the show for money, even though you have to give him credit for pulling off doing something so out of the ordinary, off the wall and just plain kooky and making a living off of it. After all, the whole thing had just fallen together for him through the years. You'll have to visit his Website to learn about the history of the show.

Also, after finishing the show, Mr. Ross came out and gave a pretty inspiring speech about following your dreams and not letting other people tell you that you can't do it. In this world, you can. After all, the One Man Stars Wars Trilogy really proves that if something crazy can work and become a success. The great thing, though, is that the speech didn't come off as cheesy or fake. His laughing while doing the show just goes to prove his sincerity about the whole, along with his fascination that something he did just for fun and entertainment can become a great phenomenon.

I give the show four and a half stars out of five. I take away a half star because of the two small bits where I got lost in the action. Can't really blame Mr. Ross, though. After all, he has condensed practically 5 or 6 hours of film footage into one hour.

After the show, the fiancee and I walked over to Finale, the restaurant that pretty much just serves dessert. I like their fruit and sorbet plate and the chocolate decadence (just a big lump of dark chocolate). They also have some good drinks, including many coffee and alcohol mixes (which I keep forgetting to ask for with no cream). Overall, though, I can't say that I'm as much of a fan as my fiancee and the other people who want to sample from the rest of the menu.

While waiting twenty minutes for a table, I remembered that I should call a friend to see if he wanted to hang out after the fiancee and I left Finale. He called me earlier to see if I wanted to play some Magic. By that time, though, he just wanted to stay home and probably do some school. I couldn't blame him.

He gave me a great tip for addressing my compulsion for improving my card playing. Him, another friend and I have recently been talking about something that we call the preparation to playing ratio. I told him that I should probably take a break from playing. He told me that instead of taking a break, that I should just increase the playing with other people side of the ratio.

I guess that makes some sense. At least, it does in the sense of "if you're going to play, you might as well play with other people and get something else out of it other than frustration from giving so much attention to it over other things." I will have to give that idea some serious consideration.

After Finale, the fiancee and I came home, made some tea, made a fire in the fireplace, set out some blankets on the floor then proceeded to watch Lost in Translation. That movie really fit my mood. It didn't necessarily fit the fiancee's mood. She wanted more of a comedy, but I think she got into it, mostly because she recognized a lot of the Japanese phrases and enjoyed the montage of Tokyo and Japanese scenery. Also, the movie really sets a strange bittersweet mood.

The two of us did some relationshippy good things then camped out in the living room, next to the fire. I had to wake up early in the morning to close the flue and had to adjust myself a bunch to adjust myself to floor. Nonetheless, I finally woke up this morning, feeling good and really inspired to do stuff, albeit a little sore.

So, here I am, about to do stuff.

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