As if I don't have enough weirdness to deal with at the moment, there was a murder down my street last night, less than 2 blocks away. Click on that link and do you see the yellowish house behind the cop cars in the first photo? That is my house. I'm pretty sure it's not a good thing when your house is in the photo of a murder scene. Somebody shot somebody in the street! I do not live in the 'Hood, it's a comatose rural/suburban neighborhood, lots of rich folks with big houses. Police haven't identified the victim or shooter or determined whether or not they're connected with the neighborhood. The shooter is still at large. I swear I've had more incidents with people shooting guns since I've moved to Boulder than I ever had when I lived in Chicago. When I first moved to Boulder one of my neighbors started shooting down the hall one night right outside my apartment door. Best part is that I tried to send Jonny outside last night. I called him about 20-30 minutes after the shooting and he told me the street was blocked off, cops everywhere etc. and at the time he didn't know what was going on. I was amazed he hadn't gone outside to see what was up and told him he'd better go check in case it was a blown gas main or something and he might need to evacuate. He had even heard the gunshots but didn't think they were actual gunshots and certainly didn't assume they were from down the street and someone was getting shot. Strummer freaked out at them as well but Strummer's always freaking out about something so he didn't think much of it. It looks like 2009 is going to be the year of 'Never a Dull Moment'.
While my neighborhood was getting shot up I was at the movies at an actual movie theater for the first time in forever watching 'Hotel for Dogs'. I would give it a rating of 4 steaming, stinking piles of dog poop and yes, duh, I figured it would be bad but wow it was even worse than I suspected it could possibly be. I realize it's a kids' movie but man even the kids in the theater didn't seem entertained. Does Hollywood think kids are that stupid? I don't know, the kids sitting next to me were making fun of it and I hardly could blame them. The only time I heard the theater laughing was for the obligatory 'guy gets kicked in the groin' scene. Doesn't matter the age group or audience, Hollywood seems incapable of letting us leave the theater without witnessing a kick to the groin. Regardless of age group the theater always erupts in riotous laughter so they must know what they're doing.
There was plenty of product placement for Pedigree dog food and they even showed part of one of their commercials for their shelter dog campaign. Am I the only one that tears up at those stupid commercials? Drives me crazy that I do that, I feel so played but I can't help myself. And sure enough despite myself I'm on the verge of bawling when they show it during the movie. I'm such an ass. The only other interesting/bizarre part of the movie was a montage with the dogs with a Tim Armstrong song playing in the background. Even after all these years of punk rock having gone commercial I still find it slightly unnerving when I hear it in a mainstream setting. Especially when it's from someone like Tim Armstrong. I still have an Operation Ivy t-shirt that I bought from him back in the 80's when he was called 'Lint' and had a bad drug problem. He came through the other side though and now is a bazillionaire and apparently hawking his brilliance to crappy movies. In any case the thoughts and memories of all this were a welcome distraction from the movie. There were some cute dogs in it to be sure but they weren't enough to make up for the rest of it and by the end I was ready to claw my eyeballs out.
I don't normally go to kid movies or hokey dog movies or any combination thereof but my friend really wanted to go and couldn't get anyone to go with him, not even his younger nieces who said it was way too uncool to be caught at that flick. He got SO excited when I told him I'd go with him and I was feeling guilty about dragging him to the X-Files movie last time I was in town. This is someone who hates violence of all kinds and likes Disney movies and old classic movies. Because of the violence he walked out of Slumdog Millionaire which is what I really would have liked to have seen but that will wait for another day. And my friend loved Hotel for Dogs so it was worth it.
Tonight we're meeting up with another of my friends for burritos at my favorite Mexican restaurant. It'll mean an annoying drive into the city but it'll be good to get out of the 'burbs for an evening and to get together with my old friends. Thankfully the Chicago River is frozen solid and it's 12 degrees outside so I won't have to make polite excuses for not going kayaking.
One more day and then I'm on my way home. Can't wait to see what happens next. Or maybe I can.