Yesterday I went to see Slumdog Millionaire. Now I see what all the fuss is about, and I agree with all the Academy awards it won this year. It’s a seriously moving and amazing film, a real cinematic masterpiece. Considering that the last movie I saw in the theatre was Confessions of a Shopaholic (which was quite good, in its own right — a lot better than I thought it was going to be), it was time for me to enjoy a real film.
I don’t know if I can say I enjoyed it, however. It was really hard to watch, especially the parts where the main character Jamal was a kid, growing up in extreme poverty without a home or any parents. All I could think about was how similar my brother’s existence would have been, had he stayed in Guatemala instead of being adopted by our family.
And really I can’t imagine my life without my brother, any more than I can imagine life without my sister. They’re my siblings, they’re a part of me, and I love them so much.
Back to the movie, though. It was very, very emotionally draining. The ending brought me to tears, and all night long I was torn up a bit emotionally. I don’t know if I could recommend it whole-heartedly to everyone, but it’s certainly a film worth seeing.
We saw the movie in an old-style cinema in downtown Newport as well. I’m all for modern, stadium-seating type cinemas, especially since there is one within walking distance, but it was nice to go to an old theatre, complete with a curtain that had to be pulled aside before the movie started. And there were no stupid commercials and useless trivia broadcast beforehand.
Before the movie, we had gone to a tavern across the street for dinner and drinks. I ended up with my favorite drink — a margarita on the rocks with salt. I took my time drinking the first one and had just gotten my second one when my friend noticed what time it was. I ended up sucking down the second margarita in record time, which probably didn’t help my emotional reaction to the film.
Then tonight another friend called me and invited me out for drinks. Tonight we tried some beer, and I opted for the sampler — 7oz each of the beers brewed on-site at the brewpub. That comes out to 49oz of beer, but before you freak out a bit, we were at the pub for over two hours, I wasn’t driving, and I didn’t drink it all. I can’t do stout, so I gave that one straight to my friend who loves stout, and I couldn’t do the golden ale either. I guess I am not one for extremes, neither the palest nor the darkest beers.
They had this delicious Vienna lager that I really loved. I liked all the beers across the top, from the blueberry ale almost hidden by the golden ale all the way to the ESB (or Extra Special Bitter) on the far right. But the Vienna lager won me over, having a flavor more like the Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale from Michelob, which is my current favorite beer. The Vienna is described as “a sweet malt-accented lager. Developed in Vienna shortly after the isolation of lager yeast, Vienna lager is characterized by a maltiness that avoids becoming overly sweet.” Mmm yummy!
I have to say, I never did drink much until I moved here. Every once in a while I’d have a glass of wine or two with my friend J in Washington, but never would I have back-to-back drinking nights like I have this week. And it’s not like I’m drinking that much either, certainly a lot less than your average college student. But here it seems like The Thing To Do, to head out to a local restaurant with a girlfriend or two, and enjoy a glass of something while you talk about anything and everything under the sun.
And now there’s research to support that it may be a good thing. A new study out of Japan, reported by Reuters, suggests that folks who drink in moderation with close friends may be doing themselves a favor, health-wise. We’ve known for a while that alcohol in moderation can help protect against stroke and heart disease, but when you add a strong support system, the results become even better.
So there you have it. A few drinks with friends? I’m doing it for my health. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
And yes, I do realize the seeming contradiction between my last post and this one. But I’m no longer a child, and there’s nothing wrong with my being in a bar now. That, and we weren’t even at a bar. We were at a brewery that’s rather family-oriented. I did have a minor flashback, when the waitress had brought my beer sampler over on her tray. Some of the beer had spilled over onto her tray, and I got a whiff of beer plus bleach water, which immediately took me right back to my real mother’s bar. I put it out of my head, however, and went on with the evening.
But I won’t ever take my children drinking with me. I just don’t think it’s appropriate.