Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend Report: San Diego edition

Friday- Ate several Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches (yum!), then went to see I'm Not There, the new Bob Dylan movie. If you were to divide the Earth's population into two groups, People Obsessed With Bob Dylan and People Not Obsessed With Bob Dylan, I would fall firmly into the first category. So, yes, I was looking forward to seeing this movie. In a more creative interpretation of a singer's life than normally presented in such biopics, Bob Dylan is portrayed as five fictional characters: A young, itinerant, black boy, a folk singer turned born again Christian, a romantic and womanizing popular actor, a drugged-out singer rebelling against the "voice of a generation" tag, and a recluse living in a trippy, old West town. I'll spare you a full review of my own and direct you to Kevin's insightful commentary. Overall, I really liked the film. I much preferred the middle three Dylans and could have done without the boy or the Richard Gere cowboy segment (except for the awesome cameo by My Morning Jacket). Cate Blanchett gave an amazing performance (I was worried that her part would be too gimmicky- a la A Woman Plays Bob!, but it wasn't at all.), and I enjoyed Christian Bale, especially when he becomes a preacher at a suburban church. Heath Ledger's romantic segment is one of the most captivating portions of the film- young actor falls in love with a beautiful French artist, they wed, procreate, then he ruins everything with his womanizing. The supporting cast is also excellent, especially David Cross as Allen Ginsberg. Yes, the movie is replete with Dylan in-jokes and can get tediously arty at times, but it's a fresh way to look at complicated man. And, of course, the music is stellar.

After the movie, we went out for sushi and then drinks.

Saturday- Mexico! Eri, Ryan, their friend Mandy and I piled in the car and headed south to Baja California. We drove down the beautiful coastline until we reached Ensenada and walked around for a while. On the drive back, we stopped at a little town and drank margaritas on a patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, all of our goodwill towards our southern neighbor evaporated after we got stuck at the border for FOUR HOURS. Note to self: never again attempt to enter the United States from Tijuana on a Saturday night. We managed to get some sort of entertainment by watching the vendors weave in and out of the stopped line of cars, showing off their rather unusual wares. Now I wish I had taken a series of photos to document the items for sale, but they ranged from bizarre to spectacular: glittery Virgin Marys, children's desks, enormous ceramic turtles, live puppies, and (our favorite) a giant blanket emblazoned with Al Pacino from Scarface. I made one purchase that will serve as my entry into my soccer team's Yankee Swap, but I prefer to keep it a surprise for the time being.

Nothing says Mexico like a man in mariachi pants eating a taco.

Sunday- I met up with Peace Corps friends Dana and Natan for breakfast, then went to a bar to watch the various NFL games with Eri and Ryan. San Diegans are very serious about their Chargers and own the jerseys to prove it. Non-Bostonians are always struck by the omnipresent Red Sox apparel worn by the city's natives, and I was impressed by the number of San Diego citizens wearing Chargers jerseys. Not just on game days, either. Later on, I went to visit my college friend Kelli, who is doing her residency and is the mother of twin one-and-a-half year old boys. And she's pregnant. And she and her husband are both in the Navy (gotta pay for dual medical school somehow) and he's getting deployed. So they have a pretty busy year coming up.

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