Mid January, and weather well above freezing. Snow in the Catskills is melting away quickly, while we're already seeing dirt on the ground a little closer to NYC. The fresh white snow that once was on the ground has turned into a grey mess that dirties up our cars, messes up our windshields, and takes away the beauty of this season.
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Saturday came, and I packed for my weekend with GFJ. We agreed to meet first at the Poughkeepsie Galleria where "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" was playing. I wasn't sure of what to expect of this film, but I came out loving how the characters were drawn, as well as enjoying the needed humor used to break the seriousness of the story. GFJ needed to take a nap before the movie, and this allowed her to stay awake through the film. (She has a habit of falling asleep at random times, and I usually have to nudge her awake during most films.) Both of us enjoyed this film, and I highly recommend it for those who want an intelligent film with no "cookie cutter" sequences.
Next, it was off to a diner, and then to GFJ's house. Considering how tired we both were, we decided not to push it, and go to sleep early for a change.
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Sunday morning, we woke up earlier than usual and got out the door in time for a 3 O'clock showing of "The Post". I've wanted to see this film for a while, and GFJ was interested in it too. So we decided to amble into Kingston for a walk (both of us need to get back into an exercise routine), lunch, and then a movie.
You will note how much space is in between stores at Kingston's Hudson Valley Mall. They are carpeting all the floors and gussying everything up. Why? The shopping center is on life support. The remaining big stores (Target, Dick's, and Best Buy) are in one corner of the mall, Sears (which is being closed) is in another corner of the mall, and the shells of Macy's and JC Penney are in two other sections of the mall. What sane merchant would open up a store in this mall?
After a quick shopping trip to Target, we went to see The Post, and were underwhelmed. Although the movie is a good movie, it seems to lack a soul. Steven Spielberg directed a solid film, but a film that lacks that certain magic that turns a good film into a great film. Neither Meryl Streep nor Tom Hanks were able to generate any sparks to make a viewer care about what is going on. (I'm in the minority here, as professional film critics rated their performances more successful than I did.) Unlike "Three Billboards", GFJ fell asleep several times during the film, and I had to nudge her awake more often than usual.
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Monday morning arrived, and it was time for me to leave and time for GFJ to go to work. So I packed up my things and drove home. While on my way, I decided to drop by the I-84 diner where DD (from The Avenue) works during the day. She wanted to see me in Mario Mode, and she recognized me as soon as she saw me. (I guess my weight gives me away!) She was extremely friendly, and introduced me to one of her fellow waitresses as a good friend (this time slipping up with pronouns in the opposite direction than one usually might expect, and catching herself in mid sentence.) During a free minute, she mentioned that she has quit the store, and moving on to another store closer to home. (It seems like the boss she had troubles with went one important step too far, and she had to quit to preserve her sanity and her health. I won't say more than that in this forum. But I expect that WDJ will want to get more information in a private message.) And again, I had to leave. Hopefully, I'll see WDJ before the end of the week and the end of her employment at the store.