Anyways, I got home late, jumped in the shower as soon as I arrived and when I got out Jen was already here -- and looking damn fine, to boot. I dunno what inspired her to go to such lengths to dress up for the night -- we were only planning dinner and a movie -- but she inspired me to toss on slacks and a nice pressed dress shirt so that I could look respectable alongside her. We jumped in the truck, motored over to the local theater and grabbed tickets for the nine o'clock showing of Planet of the Apes... it was 6:30pm when we got there, so I figured 9:00pm would give us plenty of time to go get food and NOT get caught by "oh, that show sold out, sorry, come back when it's not opening night, moron," sickness.
Anyways... we got the tickets, and I went searching for a place for us to eat. The problem was that the area around the theater had nothing but fast food joints and strip malls; this was not exactly "prime territory" for a fine eating establishment. So, after taking a rather extended detour, we ended up in my old neighborhood - Carol Stream, IL (On a completely unrelated aside, I first moved into that area in 1996 when I came to Illinois to attend DeVry). As we drove into the area I was reminded of a steak restaurant called "The Hamlet" on the very road we were on. Having never been there, and since we were dressed pretty well, I decided to go give it a shot. When we arrived we managed to find a parking space for the pickup without too much trouble (This was a pleasant surprise to me. I've become rather jaded about trying to park my fullsize pickup in the 'lots in this state). I still am not quite sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't what I got! Perhaps I thought the inside would be sort of run-down, since the outside was decidedly older-looking (early '80s in appearance -- it had stonework, but some of the metal had rusted, the steps had cracked in places, that sort of thing). Boy, was I ever wrong. I believe the exact words I uttered when we stepped into that dimly-lit, deep-carpeted reception area were "Woah. Swank-o-matic." That it most certainly was! The decor was very upper class, but it managed to pull off the posh look without actually being pretentious. I don't know how, but they managed to do it. We were seated promptly, given menus with a surprising amount of variety, and proceeded to browse. Jen ordered salmon, with a sort of seafood broth, and I ordered a 16oz prime rib with a salad and a baked potato. The prices were right around what I expected for a restaurant of that caliber -- meals were in the mid-to-high twenties for starters, and escalated rapidly from there -- but the portions were very generous and the service was excellent. The food itself was very well prepared and if I had a single complaint it would be that we couldn't stay longer. We had to leave the restaurant about an hour after we arrived (so as to make it to the theater and make sure we could get seats together), feeling very sated and ready for the movie.
I wish we'd seen something else.
Jen will dislike me for saying this, but I thought this new Planet of the Apes was very overrated. The special effects were great, the score was above average, but the dialog was bad and the plot they used for this retelling was predictable. I thought a great deal of the characterization was over the top, especially for General Thade, the ape character who was the main antagonist in the movie. Granted, as Jen pointed out, they're likely just trying to show how much of an "animal" this animal is, but it was still just too much for me.
Anyways, that was our Friday night. Saturday was relatively quiet -- we did lunch at Spring Garden, a local eatery that's open 24 hours a day and very reasonably priced. After finishing our meal there we went to the local Ace Hardware, since I wanted to get keys cut so that Jen, Roho, Aureth and Lana could actually get into the apartment building (they've got keys to the apartment proper already). I was stopped in my plan because the kid working the counter actually paid attention to the "Do not duplicate" message stamped on my building key -- that has to be an absolute first! So I was denied in that quest, much to my absolute annoyance. After that foolishness, we jumped back into the truck and made tracks back to the apartment, where we killed a few hours by watching Mystery Men, which Twan and Lana had rented on DVD from Blockbuster. After that Jen had to leave, since she works on Sunday and had already had a commitment to hang out with a friend of hers at the "We're not at AC" party, which I declined to attend. I stayed home and did some research for work (I am SO pathetic), and hung out on #watertower some more. It was fun for me, and I also got a chance to see some of the new answers over at Forum 2010, which I still maintain is light years ahead of its competitor, Forum3000. Other than that, nothing of real note happened. Tomorrow I will be doing laundry (as usual) and avoiding paying my bills. I'm foolish, yes.
Earth below us