Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tinseltown, Wild Ginger & Hurt Locker

Tinseltown Mall at West Pender and Abbott is across the street from my office. It was one of the reasons I moved here. Cinemark theatre is on the top floor. I like the soft sloping armchairs. It's the most comfortable movie seating in Vancouver.

"Tuesday special" is cheap theatre tickets. My friends and I like to get together for dinner and a movie. My childhood friend, Kirk, now so often in Malibu, is a big movie buff. It's probably because he lives down the lane from Angelina Jolie. Just returned from Minaki where their family have a summer cottage, he revived fond memories I've had of Minaki itself, the old Minaki lodge, or visitting Kirk at his cabin. Jake Macdonald once a normal Fort Garry kid like the rest of us, went on to be one of Canada's greatest authors, and immortalized Minaki in his hilarious Houseboat Chronicles.
Kirk joined Laura and I at the Wild Ginger Restaurant the second floor of Tinselltown. There's the food court with great variety of mostly oriental treats but then there's Wild Ginger for fine dining. Catering to the movie going audience Wild Ginger provides really quick fare as well as more elaborate dishes. Laura had spring rolls and I had their terrific Atlantic Tuna. Kirk had a vegetable chicken stir fry that came in such abundance he had take home for the next day's lunch.

Friends chat. Catch up. Stories of family and childhood. Then it's politics.

"In the States now," Kirk said, " I'm always being asked about the ' Canadian socialized medical system' so I've taken to saying, yes, we have a 'socialized fire department" and a 'socialized police department', you know when there's a fire the fire department comes and puts it out and when there's a crime the police come and take care of it, so it's the same with illness, the ambulance comes and gets you or you go to the hospital or doctor. It seems to put things in perspective for the Americans because it really is a terrible fear that my friends have who live down there . An accident or even some illness can leave them bankrupt or hundreds of thousands in debt. And alot of them have insurance but it doesn't provide real coverage."

"The government here is cutting millions in health care. " I said, " I get upset that increasingly everything but what doctors and nurses do is called health care and then as a doctor my workload is increasing, more and more people are coming in with worse illness, my overhead is frankly through the roof, juniors with a chip on their shoulder are calling the shots and all my education, training and experience are considered 'shit' by the beurocrats and frankly I'm getting old and tired."

Laura works with doctors and chymes in that the dozen doctors she knows are all run off their feet and fed up too.
We turn to talking about movies. I wanted to see G Force with guinea pigs as 007 creatures but Kirk suggested, Hurt Locker. Hurt Locker was more relevant (adult) and timely (Laura and I will go to G Force another time) than Walt Disney.

Hurt Locker is Kathryn Bigelow's profound war movie depicting the life of an explosions technician. It's almost a documentary. If anyone thinks their job is difficult there are a lot worse jobs. The message though that one finally comes away is "WAR IS A DRUG".

Then it's chatting on the sidewalk. We all thought the movie rivetting. Insightful and thought provoking too.

I take Kirk by to see the office. He loves it. "The high ceilings and wood are terrific." He tells Laura that he's seen so many of my offices over the years and they're always about the same. "There's usually a fish tank in a waiting room." I pick up the guitar and play rythym. Kirk picks up the spoons. We're back jamming. For a song or two we're kids again in the parents basement.

But it's late. Laura jumps (gets on) the back of the scooter and we wave as we speed (motor) off into the night. I cry out, "Let's do it again next Tuesday".

Tinseltown is a great mall that has come into it's own as the area gentrifies and the shop spaces are filled with fashion stores and cafes.

Insert - somewhere above

But what's new," I say and we get off the belly aching about taxes and work and go back to talking about family, friends, motorcycles, sailing, and dancing. Kirk who used to date women who said he couldn't dance has thrown off that collection of false information and taken to letting lose most weekends. "I just love dancing," he says. I remember him from high school being a great dancer but then I went pro and never heard about these women telling him he couldn't dance. Amazing. So often I hear of people being limited by other's negativity and projection.

After dinner we head up the escalator to the theatre.

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