Chaos Attraction

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2012-09-04, 12:18 p.m.

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So yesterday I spent the day going to the gym, wandering around outside, and doing laundry. I suddenly feel like someone on Jersey Shore. Okay, so I also rented a Zipcar to run around to various stores buying crap for my trip, and went to the movies. So there's that.

I really hate planning for trips. ESPECIALLY EFFING LONG ONES. I keep thinking of too much stuff I need to be bringing, except I can't bring that much stuff, so...argh. And then there's the weather. Obsessive checking of weather.com indicates that it will be in the seventies the entire time for all locations--but L says it is generally hotter back there than I think. I am starting to suspect that whatever I pack is going to be wrong. Like if I bring one pair of shorts and a bunch of pants, then it will suddenly be hot the entire time, or vice versa. I really don't want it to be like the last time I went to Montana in June, brought nothing but shorts...but little did I know that if we went a month earlier than we normally did, it was still in the sixties there. I had to buy a Moose Drool sweatshirt there and live out of one pair of pants for a week. I'd rather not do that for two weeks--hell, could I even buy shorts anywhere at this point?

Argh. Seriously, two effing weeks is too long for me to handle. And I am still debating shit like "Laptop or no laptop?" I probably shouldn't bring one because I doubt I'll have Internet access, but it'd be good for downloading pics off the camera. Mostly my big laptop (the one that handles photos) is a giant load to haul around through airports and the smaller laptop doesn't do the photos, but is there for net access, which I probably won't have because you can't expect elderly relatives to do computers, so....but what if I have camera issues...argh... Then there's the "how many books to bring" conundrum. Yes, I know you're immediately going to say "KINDLE!", but I drain the batteries off my gadget after 2 hours of speed reading. My e-reading is not going to keep me occupied through an entire day of flying, much less the entire trip. And what the hell am I going to knit during the trip? I'm still trying to figure that out too.

Mom asked if I was excited about the trip and I was all, "Not until I arrive. Until then, it's just a lot of stress."


In other news, L and I went to the movies and saw Hit and Run. It was a surprisingly entertaining movie, and better than I was expecting it to come out.

The plot: "Charlie Bronson" is in Witness Protection and has been moved from LA to the small town of Milton, which I am forced to assume is either in a state next to Southern California, or is at the highest around the center of California. (There are a lot of things that I don't think are actually done in Witness Protection. Hey, I watched five years of In Plain Sight, okay?) He's living with his girlfriend Annie, a sociology professor at a small local college who's afraid she's going to get fired. Turns out her boss (Kristin Chenowith, playing a Debbie Downer, as in "I have a lot of drugs here, want any?") has hooked her up with a job doing her actual field of study--conflict resolution--in LA, if she can just get over there in like 2 days for the interview, because the semester is going to start soon.... L, who is applying for academic jobs, laughed her head off at this bit.

Anyway, Annie is aware that Charlie is in Witness Protection (though she is not so much aware for what, exactly) and knows that the relationship will be over if she moves since he isn't supposed to return to LA. But Charlie is super schmoopy in love (and adorably so) and he's willing to risk death to go with her. So he unofficially bails on WITSEC without even filling out the paperwork, but does eventually tell his marshal that he's bailing when he calls. The marshal, played by Tom Arnold, is the most deadly dangerous klutz I have seen in quite some time. The man can't get his car to not drive off without him, he thinks shooting the car will somehow make it stop, and he has zero control over his weapon. (And yet freaks the hell out when Charlie takes it away from him and takes out the bullets.) Anyway, Tom Arnold follows along wanting to protect his client. It's not like Charlie doesn't care about the dude, but clearly he's more likely to accidentally shoot them himself rather than help, so they don't pick him up.

Charlie's first mistake is that he brought along his old classic car from his old life, and takes it out of the garage for the trip. The second mistake was made by Annie because she told her previous boyfriend, Gill, that Charlie was in WITSEC. (Why?!?!) Since she has to stop by Gil's house to pick up her teaching certificate, which she left in his half of the photo albums, that means she has to tell him where she's going. Gil is convinced that Charlie is a serial killer, memorizes Charlie's plates, and has his cop brother check the car. This gives Gil Charlie's original name (Yul?!) and naturally with a Google search and some Facebook friending, Gil immediately lets the guy who's got the biggest grudge against Charlie where Charlie's heading. So Gil takes off in the car too. Occasionally in on the search as well is Gil's cop brother, but most of his plotline involves him using a gay sex app called "Prowler" to find the only other gay dude in the Milton area, i.e. Tom Arnold.

So all of these folks are chasing Charlie and Annie, and Charlie's old bank robbing buddies join in the search too. Yup, Charlie used to be a getaway driver back in the day. Annie finds this out and freaks, as you do. And then the bank robbers use Annie as a hostage to get Charlie to give them their stolen cash, buried at his dad's house. I've read that apparently Dax Shepard (who wrote this) loved Smokey and the Bandit, and yes, this is a chase movie in that sort of style. The cars he hops into get progressively more ah, interesting, so that's funny.

I'll admit the plot isn't totally ah, factual about Witness Protection (like, mostly at all), or academic jobs. But I will say that the emotional stuff between Annie and Charlie is dead on. It is fairly likely that the screenplay was based off of the real life wackadoo stuff that Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell say to each other while home alone. (If you've heard them interviewed together, like on NPR recently...yeah.) Their repartee is freaking adorable and snarky and emotionally honest. And it seems to be a pretty rare example of a healthy-ish relationship (as healthy as it gets when a guy hasn't mentioned every detail of why he was in Witness Protection, anyway). They talk their shit out and work it out. When Charlie says the f-word aimed at insulting gay people as a synonym for lame--something that irritates a good chunk of people in the world, L and I included-- Annie calls him out on it and gets him to understand her POV.. When after a creepy redneck eyes Annie and Charlie's car in a disturbing manner and Annie starts making cracks about how he seems to have the same taste in cars as a rapist, he calls her on how that hurts his feelings. And their dialogue is just FUN in general, like when Annie starts referring to Charlie as a talking parrot and how she's gonna get rich. So them together? Adorable. Charlie may not have a doctorate in anything and occasionally is rather uncouth--like the ah, discussion of prison rape in which he focuses on the race of the dude who did it, like that will somehow modify the awfulness of the situation-- but he's got high emotional intelligence and is a great boyfriend. Annie...well, I adore Kristen Bell, so I'm biased there. Now I get why she likes the dude.

So, if you can find the movie anywhere, heck, go see it. It's entertaining.


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