Hot dog! Hot damn! Summer is almost over, and I’ve been trying to make the most of it. Last weekend we went out to a drive-in theatre out in the boonies to see Superbad, partake of freaky dancing concession stand food, and take unauthorized photos. Did you know that you can’t take pictures at a drive-in, even when it is fabulously vintage and filled with all kinds of baffling retro curiosities? I guess the no-camera rule is to prevent people from recording bootleg video to sell to Armenia or wherever, but jeez, what a shame. Nobody busted on me back when I was taking (very bad) pictures of the screen during the free Tuesday night movie in Grant Park a few weeks ago, but I suppose there isn’t much of a demand for Douglas Sirk melodramas on the pirate DVD market, is there? Oh, and I also realized during our time at the drive-in that I do not know how to fully turn off the headlights on my car. Karen Black (my Subaru Forester) has “daytime running lights” that automatically click on when the car is in gear, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to disable them. This means I’ll never be able use my car to conduct nighttime espionage operations, and it also means that everyone who was watching The Bourne Ultimatum at the drive-in last weekend totally hates me for leaving halfway through. Er, sorry about that. But really, that movie was just a tad too intricate to watch through a windshield. I require broad comedy and garish camp classics for all my outdoor cinema needs, please!
We fared okay during the big storms on Thursday night. We were pretty lucky in that we didn’t lose power and we managed to avoid getting fried by lightning or flattened by falling trees. It was a hell of a night to do a reading, though. I slogged my way home from work through broken traffic lights, and then Chris drove me to the coffeehouse, which involved driving around downed branches and changing course several times in order to avoid those extra-fun flooded viaducts along Ravenswood Avenue. (I don’t know if they got as bad as this, but we weren’t going to take our chances.) My reading was decidedly enhanced by the chainsaw noise from outside as workers tried to dismantle a downed tree across the street.
It was a strange night. I’d heard some neighborhoods were hit pretty hard, but it wasn’t until this weekend that I found out that my friend Jenni Prokopy and her husband lost their home on Thursday when the roof of their building was torn off. I met Jenni about a decade ago at some networking event thingy that was pretty awful except for the fact that I got to smoke cigarettes with her, and I subscribed to her zine, and then years and years later we found ourselves at the same party. She’s done some great things with Chronic Babe, a site worth supporting even in non-disaster times, and any help or good energy you can send her way right now will be appreciated.
Now for more coffee. And really, if anyone knows how to shut the lights off in a damn Forester, let me know. I mean, it’s not that important, but what if I want to go on stakeout? Or what if I’m in a teen movie and need to commit elaborate late-night car-related pranks or other shenanigans? It sure would come in handy.