It wasn’t that bad going up at 4am. I did pass a guy with a backpack going down the slope when I went up. I think I passed 4-5 people in total, and I think only 1 was intoxicated. The half mile or so up to Clark wasn’t too bad, but I will say it is creepy to see buildings completely empty and quiet. PSB and Clark were lit up, but coming back through Rockefeller was pretty creepy since half the lights there are turned off at night. I rushed out of there back into the 24 degree weather. I didn’t make much of the cold on the way up – 24 degrees is the coldest weather I’ve been outside in all year, but I had my jacket, hat, and gloves. Until I got to the steps between Uris and Morril that go down Libe slope – there was a little bit of ice on the stairs, and nothing had been salted. So as soon as I got to the end of the dozen or so stairs, I switched over to the grass the rest of the way. I was in bed by 4:30 but wasn’t able to sleep for a while.
I didn’t end up waking until almost 1 – probably a good thing I turned in the problem set last night, otherwise I’d have some fun running up the slope to do. Today I took a break from studying (I’ve got a couple days still, and I thought it’d be good mentally to take a break). So I went to the mall to see The Muppets this afternoon. (Possible minor spoilers!)
After the highpoint of wrapping up the Billy Joel show, I had to come back down to reality and work on my physics problem set when I got back around 12:30am. Well I didn’t necessarily have to do it then – but it was due at 1:30pm today, so I either had to sleep and wake up early, or just do it then – I decided to do the latter. I figured it’d be safer to stay up and finish the problem set in case I woke up late – and by 3:45am, I was finished. Then was the decision to either turn it in then, or go to sleep and turn it in the today. Now I’m pretty sure most sensible people would have slept. I on the otherhand…
Lighting outside the El Capitan on Hollywood Boulevard in Jan 2011 for filming The Muppets
Filming in Jan 2011 outside the El Capitan, I think this is the part at the end of the film when they come out of the theater.
Now I thought I wouldn’t have a picture for this entry, but I have 2 – from January 17 last winter, when I was in Hollywood for a Cornell alumni panel event, a lot of streets were blocked off for filming – The Muppets! (I guess it feels cool to think I have a connection to the film, even if rather insignificant). I actually completely forgot about this entire thing until tonight when I was looking at somebody's YouTube video from their viewpoint watching the filming, and I remembered - I drove by when it happened! From a quick search, the Jan 17 date was one of the nights they were doing filming in Hollywood. We were in front of the Disney El Capitan, which I believe stood in for the Muppet Theater at the end of the film. Lots of lanes were blocked off on Hollywood Boulevard where they filmed, and in the pictures you can see some of the lighting for the street – I remember seeing the giant searchlights too. Though we weren’t driving by when the big song and dance number happened, there certainly was a lot of traffic congestion caused by the filming. Though I’d guess if you’re a Hollywood native, that’s rather normal.
Anyways, the film itself was greatly entertaining and absolutely fun (and pulling at my heartstrings!). It was a fun 2 hour ride of nostalgia – including the Toy Story short beforehand about a Buzz Lightyear Happy Meal like toy – I remember those things! I do like that the kinds of shorts that precede Pixar films are including in Disney films. As for the movie itself, I suppose the decline and comeback of the Muppets is a novel, if not somewhat exaggerated, metaphor for Disney’s handling of the Muppet brand up until now. But I thought it was a great movie in spirit with the films and shows preceding. Though I do feel a lot of the jokes went over the kids’ heads (there was a little girl’s birthday party in attendance), quite a few times I heard a lot of adult laughter, though at the same time the kids in the theater seemed to enjoy it. I’ll admit I got quite teary eyed near the end – to the extent where showing any emotion would probably have made me cry so I kind of sat there with as still a face as possible looking at the screen. Thus, I didn’t get the full emotional impact of the last 15 minutes, and require seeing it again while it’s still in theaters. (See what I did there?) Maybe a rewatch when it’s in Cornell Cinema (hopefully next semester). The songs are stuck in my head too – had to pay a visit to the piano when I got back to get down some of the chords! Though for me, I think the film struck me in a very Toy Story 3 sense, especially in its value for an older audience, reminding you of friends and joys together from the past. And while perhaps in the age of Facebook recreating the sense of high school or college friendships is just a post away, the joy of the Muppets can truly feel timeless.