That bit where I said, "hey, maybe I'll hit the Target on my lunch break rather than brave the insane crowds sure to be clogging the place during tax-free weekend"? Heh. Hehehe. Heeheeheehee!
Yeah, the place was mobbed. But I'm glad I went, because they were already almost out of some things on Penny's list, like black 2-pocket pronged folders. (Back to school lists are weirdly specific. I was also directed to buy a 1/2" 3-ring binder, preferably red. But the only 1/2" 3-ring binders they had were white, so I'm going to take that "preferably" as literal and they'll just have to cope with white.) Two boxes of kleenex out of the house store, and Penny assures me that she still has her earbuds from last year, so that's the school shopping done. Whoohoo!
After work on Friday, I drove down to Newport News to hit Sam's Club, mostly for pullups for Alex, but I got a few other things while I was there, of course. (Stupid Friday traffic. Forty-five minutes to get down there, for shopping that took about fifteen minutes.) While I was down there, though, I also stopped at Michael's Crafts and got a thing or two for Penny's Harry Potter party.
And then, shopping completed ahead of schedule, I decided to treat myself to the Batman movie. I enjoyed it, though it desperately needed better editing. There was no reason at all for that movie to be three hours long; there were at least three scenes that could've been cut wholesale without affecting the storyline at all -- and I wasn't even really concentrating on it. Most jarring moment in the movie for me: "Hey, who's in this picture?" "My dead girlfriend, the love of my life whose death drove me into loony seclusion for the past several years." "Oh. Wanna make out right here in front of her picture?" "Yeah, sure, let's get naked." (Okay, I'm paraphrasing, but it really was about that quick... and completely pointless, as there's no indication beyond this point that Bruce has any feeling for this woman beyond her role in the plot's political machinations. Both the writing and the film were in desperate need of some editors who were willing to be just a little more ruthless.
I did really, really like their use of, for lack of a better term, audio whitespace. As an audience, we've been conditioned to key our feelings toward a scene off the movie score. If it's any good, the music subconsciously tells us everything we need to know about how the characters are feeling and about how we're supposed to be feeling. So when they get to that first fight scene between Batman and Bane and the music just stops, not so much as a percussion line to echo and underscore the fight, not so much as a sustained violin or oboe note to lead us down to the pit of despair... it's like an extra punch in the gut. It did it again another time or two in the movie, and I loved it. For a movie that relied heavily on internal, psychological issues for its conflict and crisis, using our own subconscious against us was a brilliant and brave stroke.
Anyway, that was Friday. Saturday around lunchtime, Matt brought Alex over so he could get his nap in while Matt took Penny to a birthday party at the Y. I had some kind of loose plan where Alex would nap for an hour and a half or two hours and then I'd take him with me to the post office to pick up stamps and then we could swing by Sweet Frog for a snack... but no, the kid slept a solid three and a half hours, waking up less than fifteen minutes before Matt and Penny got back from the party. So that didn't happen, but it made for a nice, quiet afternoon.
Then Jenn came down from Richmond and we piled in my car and went down to KT's house for a Pure Romance party. The party ran long enough that we didn't make it to see Magic Mike, but that was okay, because the party was a serious blast. I even signed up to have one of my own, in a couple of months. (Possibly near my birthday. I should get some fun toys for my birthday, right?!)
Sunday morning, Matt and the kids came over again so that Matt could mow the lawn and do a load of laundry. The kids were looking for a TV fix, so I put in a DVD of an old Adam West Batman movie that Jenn had loaned me... That was awesome. The kids loved it, and I nearly laughed myself sick with the campy nostalgia.
After they left, I did my grocery shopping, decided to put off the dollar store for later this week, and had a quiet afternoon. Then I went to Vicki's birthday celebration at the Green Leafe. I'm not usually good in crowds of people I don't know well, so I really only planned to stay an hour or so, but besides Vicki, Elizabeth was there, and I actually made myself talk to people, and wound up having quite a good time, even if I wasn't a social butterfly. I gave one girl the link to my writing blog, and she seemed like she might consider checking some of it out, and admired a cute baby (and the baby's mom's absolutely stunning hair), and -- I admit it -- even checked out a couple of the guys. So I was there for a good two and a half hours, and if it had been a Saturday, I'd have stayed even later.
It was an awesome weekend. This week is going to be all about getting ready for Penny's birthday this weekend -- party on Saturday, family celebration on Sunday -- and then getting ready to head out to Cancun next week! It's crazy how fast everything is sneaking up on me. I'm almost (almost) looking forward to getting back home afterward and getting everything to slow the heck down for a few weeks.