It was my birthday yesterday, and it was a wonderful day. The day started by getting up relatively early and eating the strawberries that seraphs_folly
had prepared for my breakfast me the previous evening. She'd removed the greenery from almost an entire punnet of strawberries, so I was unable to finish them all for breakfast!
I headed off to work and kept nicely busy, so the day passed quickly with a minimum of stress, and several happy birthday wishes via txt or twitter, and then it was down to Kazu yakitori where seraphs_folly
had already started on the lychee chu-hai, and she began to ply me with beer (Asahi).
I was also surprised by a pile
of presents on the table, topped off by a beautiful cat-shaped birthday card (I'll post a pic later). Even though she had already given me a birthday present (a watch), and there was another birthday present on the way in the mail (something naughty), and even though busy with her latest house project, my love had gone out of her way to pick up some presents for me to unwrap.
The wrapping paper was also memorable, possibly the richest wrapping paper I've ever received, thick heavy paper, embossed with gold glitter, etc. It was so beautiful I didn't want to damage it, so I very carefully plied it off to reveal...
Well, I was expecting a couple of little things, just to give me something to unwrap, more "stocking fillers" than real presents, as I'd already received, or had ordered, some lovely presents. What I got was presents that were in many ways more impressive than those I already knew about.
My love told me that she'd gone into Comics Compulsion and asked the guy there to show her "the prettiest things he had". She'd sorted thru these and made her choices trying to ensure they weren't things I already had. And so I ended up with the hard-back version of Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell's The Dream Hunters(1)
and Absolute Death
. I am very spoilt, and I'd say that these were the best presents ever, except I seem to be saying that every time about the things my lady gives me. It's wonderful having someone who knows you well enough to buy surprise presents that one really likes.
We ate and drank our fill, edamame, karraage, miso. In the process I discovered that the Kazu peppered steak is divine. We moved on to Cafe Eis for dessert. I had an ice cream that tasted like biscuits and coffee. From there we weaved a somewhat drunken way to Reading Central, and determined we had to wait a bit to get Gold Lounge seats for 2012
We filled in the time by trying out the iFeel (or some similar name) massage chairs in the lobby. It was a little disconcerting being held by the ankles, pummeled in the back of head, and anally-probed, by an intelligent chair.
The Reading Central Gold Lounge is not a particularly good deal these days, without the free drinks and popcorn, and with the seats being a bit worn and clunky after several years of use, but the seats are still nicer to relax into and we had some of the best ones. Based on the trailers, I now want to see several movies, from Sherlock Holmes
(if only for the laughs) to Avatar
(Even though it worryingly reminds me of the second Star Wars
trilogy, combined with Matrix 2
and Starship Troopers
the TV show).
As to 2012, well, as expected it was a big, dumb, special effects movie that was a lot of fun. It had many common Hollywood tropes, from reconciling a divorced couple with kids(it happens all the time in movies, I'm not sure it ever happens in real life) to killing all the people who have sex. But there were very few times that the pace got slow or there was unnecessary padding, the only places where I felt that was where some characters lingered a little long over their good-byes and kisses when there were important reason for them to hurry. I enjoyed several things, like the fact that the lead drove his Russian mafia bosses limo, which was one of those armoured, over-powered things, with bulletproof tires, designed for taking gunfire and for combat evasion, through the initial escape, giving at least some
justification as to why the car survived that sequence. And then the Russian pilot found possibly the only aircraft that could have gotten them out of Las Vegas like that, an Antonov AN-124 Ruslan (NATO reporting designation 'Condor'). I also loved Woody Harrelson's character, and you could tell he was enjoying it too! The Yellowstone eruption sequence looked great, regardless of it;s technical accuracy.
There were so many enjoyable little touches, many of which made me LOL, I can't list them all and of course, the spectacle. Overall I think it's well worth watching in a big theatre while tipsy, probably not worth getting on DVD though unless you have a 60" screen and a really good sound system.
Waiting for the Gold Lounge showing meant we didn't get home until almost midnight. When I got home I found I'd received a lovely email from a close friend which really topped off the evening, and then when i remembered to turn on my phone this morning (having turned it off during the movie) I found more birthday txt messages.
And just a few moments ago, my love informed me that she had also purchased tickets to Neil Gaiman's talk next year for she & I.
A really great day that made me feel very loved and special.
Just finishing this at work while waiting to head of to BBC, followed by TNC.
All I need now is a day of relaxing at home to remove the shrink-wrap and really appreciate my presents!!
1. Not to be confused with Neil Gaiman & and Yoshitako Amano's The Sandman : The Dream Hunters.