Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Every Angel Is Terror

Wow. Saw Metropolis last night, a restored and almost-complete version, with live score provided by Sports For Kin. That was opening night for the Southside Film Festival, and I think it's going to be hard to top -- that might have been the Lehigh Valley's cultural highlight of the season.
Anne and I also went to the opening-night party at Home & Planet, but it was way crowded (and I hadn't had dinner), so we slipped off to Lehigh Pizza, grabbed a bite before following the sounds of bagpipes (they had a bagpipe procession with police escort) over to the Packer Chapel at Lehigh -- which is a "chapel" in the sense that the summer mansions at Newport are "cottages;" this thing was a serious gothic pile -- where the movie was shown. Lotta people there, and Opening Night (the party as well as the show) was like a "who's who:" Anne and I walked over to the party with Scott and his brother, and we ran into Donna, and Deb & James, and also Nick & Alison, and Trevor & Christie, and some people Anne knew, und so weiter...
I won't do too much of a movie review, except to say that the "almost original" version was longer and very different from the one I have on VCR, some scenes that were added are crucial to character development, and to just plain moving the plot forward. The movie makes a lot more sense now. Strange to see so many new cultural touchstones this time around too: Robot-Maria as "whore of Babylon" (never noticed that before), the worker city flooding like something out of Male Fantasies, and oh! that Gernsback Continuum architecture... The whole event was a Pynchonian nerdgasm.
The musical performance was nothing short of amazing, a "shoegazer/post-rock" ensemble made even better by the cathedral acoustics. I said it before and I'll say it again: this was a big deal.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Year, Another Nap At Sideling Hill

Morning weigh-in: 175.5#, 10.5% BF
Jeez, you go away for a few days, and the world falls apart... (and meanwhile, back in the USA).
Also: Imipolex!!
Well, last weekend was the 24 Hours of Big Bear. I took off Friday and left about noon (OK, noonish), and met up with the rest of the Sid's Bikes crew a little after 5:30 -- they fielded three teams, which made for a pretty big campsite -- then camped, raced, camped and raced (and camped and raced) some more, and then hit the road Sunday afternoon. Home by 7:00 or so, but I am just now starting to recover...
Lactose Intolerant: me, team leader Steve, Brett, Christian, and Ken. We were really just out for fun; as long as we didn't get hurt, or come in dead last or anything, it was all good.
Mud Sweat and Gears: these were mainly Lehigh Valley people (Jeff & Dave K were the two I know) plus Sid's sponsored racer -- and current NJ champ in his age group -- Dave C.
Sid's Bikes And Beer: My old co-worker Scott and some Sids team racers. These guys were fast.
Here is the official map, which looks like an early version, not quite the final racecourse as it was laid out. The course was just about 13 miles long, with maybe 1600 feet of climbing, and it was all singletrack. Unlike the last time I was there (2007), recent weather had been very wet, and big chunks of the course were slippery slop or peanut butter -- in other words, classic West Virginia.
I personally was disappointed with my three laps (here, here, and here), and suspect that it was because things were slightly more technical than I was expecting, and I was skunked by what I call "the over/under," where I lost a lot of time floundering on stuff only slightly beyond my ability to handle well, mostly the slippery rocky uphills. (In 2007 the course was only slightly easier, and I swear I was flying around it that year.) Oh well, I wasn't the fastest on the team, but I also wasn't the slowest; I pulled my weight and I was pretty much the "mid-pack Sport-class finisher" I always was, so I guess it was OK. As a test and a wake-up call for the Wilderness 101, however, I'd say I have to really build up my high-intensity endurance, and I better do it soon...
Anyway, I finished my last lap around 2:00, chomped a couple of sandwiches and said my goodbyes (smart move: I packed up before my last lap), and took off. It all caught up with me about an hour later, and so (once again) I pulled into the Sideling Hill exhibit area and took a power nap. Back on the road, home by 8:00 or so -- got there just after Anne finished some major garden chores, talk about timing -- and dinner at Brew Works. Ta-Da!
I've been resting and cleaning up since, and tonight I'm seeing Metropolis (with a live band for the soundtrack) on the big screen at the Southside Film Festival.