Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CousinFest '08 Vignettes -- Chick flicks & peach margaritas

It was really lovely having an extra night for CousinFest this year. Last year, we stayed Friday and Saturday nights, and this year, we added Thursday night for a little extra fun. I've been poring over my '09 calendar trying to figure out how I can parlay those three nights into something like around thirty, because being in Doug and Susie's house is the adult equivalent of going to Disney World. And I would much rather ride around in a fancy Lexus than in one of those dumb teacups, anyway. Because, the teacups? They can take you around and around and around until you lose your Mouse-eared hat, but the Lexus can take you to a liquor store with a drive-thru window. Snaaaap!

Friday evening was the evening of chick flicks and peach margaritas, so we four girls -- Carol, Susie, Aunt Peg and I -- left Doug the Gallant with his Rhett Butler voice in the kitchen where he'd offered to do the dishes, God love his angel ways, and trooped upstairs to the theater room, where a real-live movie screen descends from the ceiling in some kind of slow-motion deus ex machina splendor and a projector at the rear of the room turned Juno's Ellen Page's head the size of Mars during close ups. The theater room has a huge, wrap-aroundy black leather sofa and a comfort station where you can get snacks and drinks, although we'd all climbed the stairs clutching bucket-sized margarita glasses. Susie climbed up carrying the pitcher part of the blender, sloshing with extra peachy goodness.

The first movie we watched was Juno, which is a really good movie with a pro-life message, told from a secular worldview, which made it the other side of the Bella coin. Quirky, adorable Juno, the main character, finds herself pregnant at age sixteen and totally rejects the idea of having an abortion after finding out that her tiny, tiny unborn baby already has fingernails. The entire film is a celebration of life and families and love - I enjoyed it very much. I wish it were appropriate for Meelyn and Aisling, but there are just a few situations in the movie that were a bit beyond Meelyn's experience and definitely beyond Aisling's. Naturally, they both know that babies don't spring fully diapered from under cabbage leaves and Mee knows a good bit beyond that, but in the context of the movie, it seemed like a bit too much for right now. It will be a great story for them to enjoy and learn from a couple of years from now.

The second movie we watched was 27 Dresses, starring that girl from Grey's Anatomy who plays the idiotic Izzy and James Marsden, that absolutely adorable bit of eye candy from Enchanted (he played the played the brave, handsome-yet-dorky Prince Edward) and also the X-Men movies. Anyway, he is just too yummy in this film and all I remember about it was him and that Izzy chick who was all worked up about being a bridesmaid twenty-seven times and Edward Burns didn't like her as much as she liked him. And James. Jamesjamesjamesjames. Sounds just like the chiming of bells, doesn't it?

Then Susie made us go all troop back downstairs to watch Freaky Friday. She had TiVo'd it on the giant plasma screen above the fireplace, which made Lindsay Lohan's amped-out head look about the size of the space shuttle, only shaped differently. Freaky Friday is one of Susie's favorite films and I do agree with her that Jamie Lee Curtis is so funny in it, but I can't forgive the movie for being nothing like the book. Gone With the Wind, do you hear me?

On Saturday, we spent all the early afternoon either beside or in the pool, deeply enjoying the sight of Summer, Susie's golden retriever, climbing down the steps into the water and paddling sedately around and climbing back out again to shake and then writhe exuberantly on the cement. I know what you're thinking, and let me just say that Carol, Susie and I witnessed Summer squatting in the grass three or four different times, so no worries.

Late Saturday afternoon, we went to Mass at Holy Spirit. Susie and Aunt Peg came with us because they are Episcopalians and all high churchy, although Susie did brief Aunt Peg beforehand so that she wouldn't go up to receive communion. Holy Spirit is a very nice church, although I was slightly scandalized to come out afterward, feeling all holy and all, to see the last-dog-hung people at a wedding reception loitering in front of the parish hall, talking NASCAR, smoking and gulping beer out of plastic cups, undoubtedly obtained from the tapped keg inside at the open bar. Only in Catholic World does stuff like this happen, although I'm sure that the more top-drawer Episcopalians probably get just as hammered while tidily drinking champagne and discussing their investment strategies at tasteful, white-draped round tables. (People in all the other denominations drive to liquor stores in other counties where no one will recognize their cars outside and then go home to drink in private.)

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