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9:21 a.m. - 2010-03-07
Shiny! New!

I will not post any spoilers. Suffice it to say 'Alice in Wonderland' was a treat. Not excessively Burton-ish, but quite amusing anyhow. As I feared, the day's first four showings of the movie at the IMAX were already sold out. Before noon! I imagine most of the tickets were bought online well in advance, perhaps even as early as last week. No matter. We hied off to the regular theater and got tix for the 3-D version at the cineplex. Since this theater has stadium seating, we were able to sit dead center of the row and rather close to the screen, thus making our first 3-D experience really trippy. First time for me and Mick, Wolf is rather blasé about 3-D since he's seen quite a few 3-D extravaganzas with his dad already. Man, I wish I were still smoking weed, seeing this movie stoned would be soooo much fun. Seeing just about any movie while herbally enhanced is fun, but a Tim Burton movie based on Lewis Carroll's wickedly observed absurdist hero's journey? In 3-D and Dolby? Groooovy.

The gigantic ugly mall hasn't improved any. In fact it's starting to look a little out at the elbows. Not the gone-to-seed ghost town that is our local Galleria, but the gigantic ugly mall is looking used. There's a few blank spots in its formerly jam-packed concourses too. Whispered hints of the recession, even in this fortuitously placed consumers' mecca, close enough to the city to be a draw and spang in the middle of some of the ritziest of NYC's suburbs. With its own exits and entrances onto the Thruway too. Makes getting in and out pretty easy. I'll never love this mall though, if anyone ever truly loves a mall anyhow. It's ugly and somehow hostile. And there's simply too much of everything. Too many garish stores. Too many kiosks. Too much noise. Too much neon. It's a hellish excess, a humiliation of sparkly greed.

Lunch was fab though. Wolf stepped up and tried a couple types of sushi. I was proud of him. Mick and I had a grand feed and took care of our sushi jones for some time to come. Wolf thought the conveyor belt was very cool and the price coding by plate color very clever.

After the movie it was Wolf's choice, so it was off to Krazy City- the mall's birthday party/indoor amusement park/arcade/kiddie heaven/parental purgatory. There's at least three other video arcades in the joint, but this one has a roller coaster and bumper cars and a flight simulator and a ball pit equipped with air canons. Wolf had a blast. It's so fun watching him run around screeching and giggling like a regular kid. All amped up and grinning. Come June 25th he'll be officially too old for most of the activities at Krazy City and my rule following kid wouldn't dream of violating the Ages 12 and Under regulation, so we were patient and let him wear himself out. One last grand spree. I can't say I'll miss Krazy City and places like it, but I did have a bit of a pang realizing that time in my son's life is just about over. Is it goofy to be thrilled I will never have to set foot in Chuck E Cheese again and yet be kind of sad that my son has outgrown it?

He and I took a whirl on the ferris wheel in the food court later on and he offered to go on the carousel too if I wanted to. This astute son of mine caught a glimmer of his old mom's melancholy over his rapidly vanishing childhood. Smart cookie, my boy is.

Mick doesn't miss much either. On our way out of the mall we cut through JC Penney (we'd come in through one of their doors from the parking lot) and Mick saw me stop and wistfully stroke a set of hard anodized cookware. My main set of pots and pans is a battered set of T-Fal that is (no lie) 27 years old. A Christmas gift from Mike's folks the year after we got married. The handles are falling off and the non-stick is scratched and worn, but it still gets the job done. I've added a few things over the years, a couple huge stock pots and my favorite big stainless steel frying pan, but I still make do with the ancient T-Fal. At least I did until last night. The set of pots I was fondling wasn't only nice, it was marked down from $299.00 to $99.00. A whopping 65% off. I'd shaken off my cookware lust and was ready to move on to the parking lot but Mick refused to budge. He demanded to know if those were pots I'd enjoy using. If they were the right sizes and such. I tried to wave him off, but he was having none of it. Finally I said yes. The dutch oven alone would be a wonderful thing. That was it then, that set was coming home with us. I fussed some about not needing to spend any money on such frivols, especially when things were so tight right now, but Mick gently took me by the shoulders and insisted I look at him.

"Baby, you deserve new cookware. You make us such wonderful meals all the time. You work so hard. The pots you have now are falling apart. At the very least you should have some decent pots and pans. And when are you going to see a price like this again? So stop. We're buying that set and I don't want any more nonsense from you about it."

I caved. I can't say whether it was the terrific price or Mick's persuasion or my own craven weakness for sexy saucepans and that gorgeous Dutch oven, but I let Mick buy me the pots. I unpacked the box this morning and got a little teary eyed over how weighty it is. How shiny the handles are and how the steel banded glass lids fit so snugly. Alone with my new treasures I gloated about how evenly it will heat and how each pan was already speaking to me of foods it longed to cook. I floated away in a wonderful dream of clarified butter and beef short ribs so tender they fell off the bone. Of perfectly melted dark chocolate and vinegary sauerbraten. Of sautéed leeks and coq au vin.

It know it is a poor craftsman who blames her tools, but there's nothing wrong with owning good ones either.

Refreshed from a grand day out and ready to rumble in the kitchen, ~LA

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