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We got up rather late (9-ish) and went to church shortly thereafter. Mainly it was a ceremony to honor mothers, being Mother's Day.

So afterward, we came back to the house, grabbed a quick lunch (bratwurst & salad), and Scooter came by about half an hour earlier than we expected, so we ran around and left out shortly after 1:00.

The drive to Sherman is interminable going the back roads, because there is just nothing to look at. Trees. Sign. Trees. Grass. Trees. Grass. Bridge. Grass. Cows. Grass. Cows. Sign. Grass. Grass. Cow. Barn. Sign. Grass. Cows. Trees. Grass. McDonald's. Then you meet Hwy 82, and you're basically there.

So we got tickets for the 4:00 showing of Van Helsing, then bummed around the mall for awhile. +Kyle had a nosebleed shortly after we arrived.

Really, all we did was play in the arcade. I did pod racing, but the screen is going out, so it wasn't a very successful run. +Kyle found an awesome game that senses your movement - you're a member of the Japanese police, and you go in, taking out the yakuza (Japanese mafia). Very very cool. If you duck, the viewpoint ducks. Hide behind a wall, likewise. Stand up to fire, etc. It's really awesome. They need it in Huntsville if they don't have it already. Can't remember what it was called, though. Scooter very nearly beat Soul Caliber. On the very last guy, in the very last battle, the enemy overtook him with a series of devastating blows. He said it was the closest he's ever come to beating it without using any Continues. ^_^ After that, he challenged us each to air hockey. +Kyle won 7-6, in a very long match. The puck flew off the table several times. My game wasn't nearly as long, but I still did pretty well - 7-6, but Scooter won that time. My weak spot is the right side of the goal, and I didn't guard it very well.

After playing, it was getting close enough to 4:00 that we decided to head toward the theatre. We got there about 10 'til, and the place was pretty much packed. Our seats were in the front row of the stadium area, which is placed *about* as far back as we like to sit, so they were decent.



So...the movie... I really enjoyed it, but neither of the guys cared for it too much. It was a lot goofier than the previews made it out to be. Hello? It's by the guys who did The Mummy - what did you expect? I have to admit, there were points at which I was thinking, "Okay, THAT'S just a little cheesier than I would have expected." The problem was largely Carl - they overkilled the humorous aspects of his character, particularly the "I'm not a monk, I'm a friar" bits.

But the score! Alan Silvestri did a marvelous job. I can overlook many flaws in a movie if the soundtrack is decent, and this one was incredible. The effects were pretty good, too.

And hey...You can't say too much bad about Hugh Jackman or Kate Beckinsale... I really liked Dracula.

Not knowing much of the Van Helsing story anyway, I didn't go in with any great expectations. Scooter is quite the expert, and has been looking forward to it for so long that he was *really* disappointed in it. I think +Kyle was more annoyed by Carl than anything else.

The best character in the film, though, was Frankenstein's Monster. I think they portrayed him perfectly, and we all liked him.



After the film, we went for Chinese at China Star. It was of course quite good. It's no Formosa, and hopefully one of these days we can show our friend what REAL Chinese tastes like...but it was still good. We made small talk...largely about the movie.

by now it was about 7:30, and thus far too early to think about calling it a night, so we decided to go back through Durant and do the Sunday night bowling deal. It didn't start until 10, so we put our names on the list - lane 16 - the first lane we ever played. Since it was rather early yet, we went for coffee at the Waffle Shoppe. I don't remember much of the conversation...just enjoyed the company. I know 80s cartoons were discussed at some point. Probably plans for the future. Reminiscence... I tried not to think about the fact that this was our last outing.

So...Bowling! On Sundays, it's a $5 cover (shoes included), and each game is a quarter.
We can play four games in two hours, so this turned out to be a good deal. We still never broke 400, but it was a lot of fun. Scooter & I split a pitcher again, but I didn't get nearly as blitzed as last time. :P That's probably the last time I'll be combining alcohol and any kind of publicly recreational activity, simply because +Kyle only drinks the really dark beers. Maybe if Des comes along, or if we go anywhere with Gamegod and Geekgrrl. Ian's not old enough yet.

The place shut down around midnight, so since I had to be at work later, we figured it was a good idea to get back to Madill. It seems like the ride home was pretty quiet. Bridges were discussed. At some point in the evening, Scooter informed us that the Roosevelt Bridge between Kingston and Durant sways, and he had had to stop on it one time (due to traffic, I think), and noticed it then. Once again, I am not looking forward to the one over the Mississippi on I-40. I always dread bridges of any sort, anyway, but that one is just...yikes... +Kyle jokingly said he was going to cross it and I could follow him or not, but I don't think he realizes just how much they scare me. Worse than high places. Upon a Googling, I find the term to be "gephyrophobia", and that it is a fairly common fear. Meh. Doesn't make me not have to drive over it!

Overall, it was a great day. I can't believe how much I'm going to miss these outings with our illustrious friend - even when he's on a down cycle. Yes, we'll do similar activities with friends in Alabama...I'm really trying to look forward to that...but this especially hurts.

January 2012

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