January 11, 2004
Kathy and I went to the movies yesterday for the first time in a long time. Saw Tim Burton’s Big Fish with Albert Finney, Ewan McGregor, Jessica Lange, Danny DeVito ($17 cash, includes a medium popcorn, no butter, and a bottle of water). I cried like a baby (father issues).
Afterwards, while Kathy went to get her hair done, I walked around the mall and enjoyed comparing U.S. commerce with the commerce centers I saw in Spain. It has been about five years since I’ve really been in a mall (hate ‘em) but I do have to admit they have a tidy appeal. Here’s some of my observations:
• The temperature control is very nice and relaxing.
• No one outdoes American reaction to new products (a whole store that just sells DVDs? that took over the space from a Walden’s Books. Ouch!).
• No one is cornier with names (Specs In The City, an eyewear shop).
• Man, have we gone casual! To see someone in matching sweats practically passes for semi-formal.
• No one is smoking, although I saw several people who appeared to be on crack.
Spanish Flashback: Here’s one of the Spanish posters I got in Valencia. Ain’t it a peach? Or is that an orange?
After the movie, Kathy and I met Deena and her friend Tara for dinner at Chompies Deli at Greenway and 32nd St. ($42 for salads and I had a New Yorker on rye with a Heineken). When we were done one of the waitresses came over and asked me for an autograph. I was stunned and too embarrassed to ask her if she really knew who I was. This both bothered and intrigued me all night as I imagined her going back in the kitchen and saying, “Who the Hell is Bob Boze Bell? I thought he was Mr. Green Jeans.”
“I wanted to be a big star. I thought being a star would make everything okay.”
—Hal Riddle, who never did become even a small star and now lives in the Motion Picture & Television retirement home in Woodland Hill, California
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