Monday, July 30, 2012

The Weekend; The Olympics; The Dark Knight Rises

So, our weekend was decidedly a good one.  It was the first weekend after Amy finished the bar, and I know that she felt really good about finally being able to relax.  I felt really good about having the chance to finally enjoy some stress free/study free time with her.  She wrapped up the bar exam on Thursday, and we didn't do a whole lot on Thursday night.  She was tired, and I was feeling a little under the weather with allergies.  On Friday, though, we got up and ate breakfast and rode our bikes to the pool at Garrison Park.  We lay on the lawn and swam in the water, and Amy got a chance to be outside and relax in the sun for the first time in quite a while.  We rode home and went grocery shopping.  In the evening we went over to Jaci and Josh's house and watched the opening ceremonies of The Olympics.

The opening ceremonies were... weird.  There were some cool parts (I liked when they forged the Olympic rings during the recreation of the industrial age and then hoisted them into the sky), but there were some bizarro moments, to be sure (the giant Voldemorts and army of Mary Poppinses and the celebration of the digital age with a boy meets girl story and a bunch of pre-digital age rock music, just as examples).  There was just a whole lot going on in that opening ceremony, and Danny Boyle (the famous film director tasked with producing the thing) seemed intent on squeezing in every notable thing that had ever happened in Britain in one live show.  As someone at our watch party pointed out, the whole ceremony felt like a theatrical depiction of what it would sound like to have a 10 year old explain the history of England to a 5 year old.
At any rate, I like the Olympics.  It was fun to watch the athletes from all of the different countries entering the stadium.  All of the sports aside, it's just cool to see the countries of the world come together in a celebratory, cooperative way to pull this thing off.  It's also strange to think that one of the few things that's consistently brought us together in such a happy way for these many years is the chance to engage in some friendly but fierce competition with one another.  We want to come together, but the thing that makes us the happiest in is the chance to prove who's best.
Humans are odd animals.
I like the Olympics.  So many people from different countries in really good shape doing amazing
things.  Seems like the healthiest thing in the world.
During the Olympics, I even get caught up in handball.

Well, on Saturday we got up, and I went for a ride.  I rode into downtown and through Zilker, and ended up walking my bike up half the hill coming up that hill near Barton Springs.  I guess I coulda mashed pedals and made it up, but, man, I just needed a break, and the walking felt good at that point.
When I got home we loaded Cassidy in the car and took her down to the spillover near Barton Springs.  All three of us had a really good time.  Cassidy got some good swimming in, and Amy and I got to splash around and soak up some sun.  On the way home we stopped off for snow cones. 
Felt.  Like.  Summer.
Saturday night we met my parents for dinner.  It was good to see them.  It was our first chance to get together since they got back from their trip to Alaska, so it was nice to have a chance to catch up and hear about their trip.  After dinner we went to a party that some of the people from Amy's law school class were throwing (Amanda and Robbie, if you must know).  We had a good time!  Beers and chatting and even some dancing.  It was especially nice for Amy.  She's been in school with most of these folks for three years, and now many of them are getting ready to launch out into the world in different directions.  Definitely a much better way to round out the law school experience than by seeing people for the last time as they staggered, dazed and battered, out of the doors of the bar exam test site.
On Sunday we got up and I went for a ride again.  I rode down to Ryan and Jamie's and poked my head in on them as they were eating their breakfast!  They love to see big brother Jason, especially when he shows up all sweaty on their doorstep on a Sunday morning while they're trying to quietly eat omelets and watch the Olympics!  At any rate, I drank a glass of water, dropped some truth bombs on them, and then pedaled away.  I also rode to the store for some pita chips.  We can't afford to run out of those,
Sunday afternoon we went to see The Dark Knight Rises with Ryan, Jamie, and Dad.  Ryan got us the tickets, which was very cool of him.

I thought the new Batman flick was pretty cool.  There had been quite a bit of hubbub about the movie.  Some of the discussion involved its political themes, but, to be honest, the political message, insofar that there was one, seemed almost incidental.  The movie's villain, Bane, holds himself out as some sort of populist revolutionary, apparently sort of angry about exploitation and corruption, but in the end it's made pretty clear that Bane doesn't really see himself as a genuinely political figure.  This isn't a movie in which a villain coherently champions one political ideology over another.  This was a movie which recognized social inequality, but definitely didn't advocate class warfare.  Bane doesn't ever really talk a lot about his vision for what he might see as a perfect world.  Instead he seeks mostly to manipulate the public in order to further his own ends, and in the end, he really only expresses contempt and disgust and a desire to tear things down (and maybe this, in itself, is a political message, but if so, it doesn't come close to resembling any mainstream school of political thought).
In fact, Bane was a fairly scary villain, but I just never really felt like I really understood exactly what he was trying to do.  He had an elaborate plan, but it was never clear to me what he was trying to really accomplish (except set up a great scenario for Batman to return and so some serious but kicking).  He seems to speak the language of a revolutionary, but it's never clear what vision he holds for the world.
In the end, I genuinely enjoyed the movie.  Quite a bit.  Details of ideology are relatively unimportant in the context of a giant, summer superhero action spectacular.  Anne Hathaway did a great job as Catwoman.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt was great as Officer John Blake.  The action sequences were really impressive, and Bane made for a strong bad guy (although probably not as genuinely disturbing as Heath Ledger's Joker).  The new Batwing was super cool, and we got to see the Bat Cycle (i.e., the Bat Pod) used to great effect.
I was happy with The Dark Knight Rises.  It helped round out a really nice summer weekend.

Sunday night Amy made really good spaghetti with turkey meatballs.  Afterward we ate a bit of frozen yogurt.
We watched Treme.  I like that show a lot.  It's cool to watch a series where music and the culture of a city play such a central role.  Maybe Treme deserves a post of its own at some point.

And that was the weekend.
I hope you guys had a good one.  Ours was really nice.  I'm proud of Amy and happy for her after the whole bar exam experience.  She put in a strong effort, and I'm glad it's over.

Have a nice week.


Jean said...

So glad the Steans ranch is at last a study free zone!

J.S. said...

:-). I think that goes for all of us!