Monday, April 29, 2013

To Old Friends with New Lives

This weekend was rather eventful considering that my ideal weekend plans usually involve being at home.  On Friday night, I saw The Place Beyond the Pines, which I knew almost nothing about.

It ended up being a very dark but beautifully made film.  There were a lot of layers to it and the subject of the story kept shifting, which was interesting.  The cinematography was also very artful and all of the acting was great.  It's not exactly a fun movie, but it's the best movie I've seen since Oscar season and I highly recommend it, even if you're just going so that you can see Ryan Gosling shirtless, covered in tattoos, and holding a baby.

On Saturday, the boyfriend and I went to the Chiller Theatre Toy, Model, and Film Expo in Parsippany.  We are both big fans of horror movies and there's always a lot of cool collectible items at these things.  Boyfriend is a weathered convention veteran, but this was my first time.  It was a little bit corny at times... a lot of aging wrestlers and Playboy models were mixed in with the other low-level celebrities, but we did get to meet some actors to whom we had some sentimental attachment.  For some inexplicable reason, Danny Tamberelli of early 90's Nickelodeon fame was there and it was sort of a life-changing moment for me.  OK so that may be an exaggeration, but it was really exciting to meet someone in person who had such a huge influence on my childhood.  I also met Edward Herrmann, who played Richard Gilmore on the "Gilmore Girls."
my fledgling autograph collection
The boyfriend met Karen Allen (from Raiders of the Lost Ark) and he wouldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the weekend.

The main event, however, was an informal reunion with my college friends in the city.  I hadn't seen some of them since they graduated in 2007 and while it was a bit of a time-warp at first, the most striking thing was how not awkward it felt to be around them again.  All of our lives had changed a lot since we had last all been together, but the more we talked, the more I realized how many important memories involve this group of women: a random trip to the Bahamas, my first few tattoos, ex-boyfriends both good and bad, a number of mistakes we've learned from, etc.  For that reason, we'll never be completely out of each other's lives, no matter how much distance either time or geography puts between us.  We have all had our moments of conflict with one another, but as I get older I learn how to better appreciate the differences between people and the value of letting people grow and change, even if it means growing apart.  There was a time during my last year at that college when I thought maybe I wasn't like the rest of my friends and I let that separate me from them.  Now I see that none of us are really all that similar -- we all have completely different interests and personalities -- and I regret having pulled away from them that year because it turns out that having differences means being able to learn from each other's different experiences of life.  So, while we may not be as close as we were before, I do really appreciate having them in my life.  Some of my most formative years (those of an unsteady early adulthood) would not have been the same without them.  I'm happy that I got to reconnect with them this weekend and hope to do it again soon.
[Here is where I would have posted a picture of us together, but it turns out that I didn't take any pictures in college that are appropriate for public viewing.]

I'm planning to do some major cleaning in the apartment this week.  We have a friend's cat staying with us and she's not getting along with our cat at all, so that's a bit of a challenge.  Any tips for getting cats to cohabitate peacefully?  Both of them are typically very sweet kitties, but the visiting cat is acting uncharacteristically aggressive because she's insecure about not being in her usual environment.  Either way, be ready for some embarrassing pictures of our slimy mudhole and hopefully some impressive transformations into near-cleanliness.

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