Colors contained in his hair before the second bleaching procedure
                                 
Colors contained in his hair after this new bleaching.
                                 
Mission to Mars and Bleached Hair-- 03/26/00

Yeah, okay, may seem like unreleated topics but that described Saturday night around here.

Saturday was fairly busy, but they usually are, lots of chores to do and errands to run. I did manage to organize the various tax documents in the den, although I have yet to get the data into the tax software. Maybe this afternoon? I took Sean to get fitted for a tux for the dance he will be going to in early May. He measures out to be a size 48 regular. Big chest. Big arms, lots of muscle. Price: just a bit over a hundred dollars. Ouch. Seems to me tux rentals were around ten dollars when I was in high school. Yeah, long ago... long, long ago.

Then there were various other errands, pick up this, pick up that, drop off a library book, stop at video shop so Sean could rent a couple animes, drop him off at home, pick up some checks that needed to be deposited, off to the supermarket to get something for dinner, etc. Back home, pop a roast in the oven, peel some potatoes and start them cooking. Okay, time for Nancy and me to workout, pop The Firm video into the VCR, gather some handweights (from one to ten pounds) and start sweating... I had to stop after half an hour to check on dinner, take a shower, come back down to finish cooking... meanwhile Nancy finished the rest of the workout, took her shower, and came down to help me get dinner on the table.

Nancy and I wanted to go to the movies. We had seen Erin Brockovich last Saturday night and Cider House and Mars were the other movies playing in Narragansett. Thus, we told Sean and Jennifer that dinner would be sometime between six and six-thirty, relatively early for our house, but we wanted to go to the seven o'clock show. Jennifer showed up on time, along with two friends, no problem, lots of food. So we ate and then Nancy and I dashed off to the movies, leaving the kids and their friends at home.

We did opt for Mission to Mars despite the generally unfavorable reviews. We both enjoyed it. Okay, the scripting was pedestrian, it was not filled with brilliant dialog, and the musical score sucked... but we enjoyed watching the movie. It was entertaining and had some visually stunning scenes.

You must understand that I spent my formative years watching some of the most dreadful low budget hack jobs put out by the lower ranks of the film industry, the kinds of movies that Mystery Science Theatre 3000 loves to make fun of. Movies where the equivalent of NASA seems to consist of a staff of five whose only equipment is two-way radio sitting on a table in a tent and a jeep. Movies where the launch is covered by stock footage of a V2 rocket. [For the benefit of the younger crowd: a V2 was a German rocket, successor to the V1 used to bomb London during the war, and when we brought Werner VonBron and his collegues over here after the war, we also brought a bunch of V2 rockets for our early missile and space program.] There were a few (too few) fairly decent (more "serious" -- that is, not about mutant monsters) science fiction films made in the fifties. One I remember vividly was Rocket Ship X-M (with a cast that a young Lloyd Bridges and a young Hugh O'Brien) about a rocket to the moon that is thrown off course by an asteroid and ends up landing on Mars. Given the relatively primitive state of special effects fifty years ago, it was not bad.

Anyway, we both enjoyed Mission to Mars... critics had carped about things like the rotating ring on the space ship. Uh, excuse me gentlemen, how else did you expect them to overcome the lack of gravity? Did you think Kubrick invented the concept of using centrifical force? (Apparently they do think that.) Well, the film is a visual treat, well-designed and presented spaceships and such, nice evocations of weightlessness... including an absolutely beautiful zero-g dance sequence for a husband-and-wife astronaut team. (A bit earlier there is a scene where the same two astronauts are on the space station, working through a checklist, rehearsing some emergency procedures... the camera moves in on the space station, moves in on the window through which we see the astronauts, everything turning and drifting, and the astronauts are head to head... it is a vertigo-inducing shot.) The scene where the astronauts are standing in the midst of the alien's three dimensional holographic projection of the solar system is a marvel to behold, what I consider to be a worth-the-price-of-admission scene. So... would I nominate this for best film or best script or best acting... No... (and certainly not for best score!) but did we enjoy it? Yes, we definitely enjoyed it.

When we came home we found the four teens gathered around the computer playing Sims while Jennifer was bleaching Sean's hair again. This was being done mainly because there had been too much brown left around the edges last week and Sean wanted everything to be changed. Yes, I've taken pictures, much to his annoyance, but it was just the start of a roll, so it will probably be a while before I have anything to post showing his hair colors. (The color charts on the left are just to give an approximation.)

Yesterday was much cloudier and colder than I had expected. We got some sun, but mostly cloudy and chilly with some brief light showers late afternoon... and a thunderstorm around midnight... but today, which was not supposed to be as nice, is turning out to be sunnier and milder (at least so far). It's noon, Nancy just got home from church... so today's plans are fix some tuna for lunch, go shopping, go for a run, do something about taxes, cook dinner to transport to my mother-in-law's house for our usual multifamily gathering, come home, watch Sopranos, read a bit, go to sleep.


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