I never thought I be that guy, but there I was, walking into the Beekman Theater to see an advance screening of ‘The Terminal’ with a plastic Toys-R-Us bag in hand.

See, here’s the thing: I work in Times Square across the street from the Empire of Toys. In my eight years here, I’ve taken great pride in having never stepped foot into the place. It’s not so much that I’m not into toys, or kids, or fun, it’s just… hmmm, I dunno’… it’s just that toting around one of those orange and brown bags says something about a guy. I’m pretty sure it says, “Forget me. I’m a goner.” And I’m so not a goner.

But, that was before Ethan. Now I love the place. Well, at least I appreciate the place. Why? They have great little musical instruments for the kids! So now, in addition to his red floral-print acoustic guitar, Ethan is soon to be the proud owner of bongos! How psyched are Chris and Jen!?!

So there I am in the theater waiting for Tom Hanks to do his pretty convincing Krokozian accent (wait, where’s Krokozia?) in ‘The Terminal’ with my Toys-R-Us bag tucked under the seat, when who do I see kvetching with the folks to my right? Why, it’s Roberta Hill from the documentary ‘Cinemania’! I know, I know, you’re all like, “Who?” Well, she was one of four film-obsessed New Yorkers depicted in the film who organize their lives around screenings, premieres, revivals, etc etc. She’s a trip: probably 60 or 70-years-old, thick, old-school glasses, kinda’ frumpy. In ‘Cinemania,’ we follow her all over town — from MoMa, to Lincoln Center, to Times Square, to Film Forum, as she goes from one obscure flick to the next. (I guess she was slumming it with the Hollywood Schlock last night.)

And the film? Well, the city was pretty much the same when I walked in, except maybe a little darker, which you, Dear Reader, know is my means of judgement (see ‘Some Kind of Monster’ below). Of course I had no idea which way was up, it being the East Side and all. But the film was fine, and cute, if not just a smidge long (as Spielberg’s last three films have been). I’d recommend it if you’re into that sorta’ thing. You know, kinda’ like ‘Castaway’ plus some Meg Ryan and an iota of ‘Rushmore.’ With an accent. In January. Which makes me wonder why they didn’t release around Christmas. It’s that kinda’ film.

So, afterwards I had some phenomenal sushi at Ko Sushi on 70th & Second, then went to an Irish pub on 65th or so. Cue the plastic Toys-R-Us bag. Now, sure, the women at the bar were bombed, but they took to me and my bag like I was Saint Nick (or the Easter Bunny). It was like I was wearing mouse cologne and they were cats. (Wow, my writing’s pretty shitty today — could be because I’m at work, could be because there’s not much of a story arc to my little Thursday night tale.) Anyway, the bag was handy for conversation, but a pain in the ass to keep an eye on. I didn’t make it long at the pub: to many frat boys and wasted 23-year-olds.

Then I walked home. I was gonna’ update ya’ll on my wild and crazy Thursday night then, but my boss IMd me and I had a bunch of MTV Movies fixes to do (at one point he was like, ‘I know it’s after midnight!’), and by the time I was done, I was done.

So, it’s pretty much The Weekend. I’m going to a stranger’s birthday party tonight. Tomorrow I’m going to see ‘Control Room’ at my new favorite theater, Landmark Sunshine. And Sunday, well, I guess I’m riding my bike for a few hours to get ready for a) the NYC Triathlon (June 27) and b) my 500+ mile ride across Iowa (July 25-31). My ass hurts already.

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