So I was just hanging around at home, trying to get some reading done, and I see reports predicting hailstorms -- hail 4 1/2 inches in diameter -- baseball size! I have never seen anything close to baseball-sized hail. And I don't keep my car in a garage. So I pack up my things and drive to the mall where there's a covered garage and a café with WiFi.
That was over 5 hours ago.
At the café, I ran into a friend and had a long conversation, then drank coffee and got absorbed into the laptop for who knows how much reading and writing. Still, no storm. It was after 5, so I moved upstairs to the Bistro, drank some wine, ate a salad and continued to fool around with the computer. Still no storm, but the scary baseball-hail was still predicted. It was nearly 7, so I paid the check and went downstairs to the theater.
Surely, the length of a movie will give the hail time enough to come through. I bought a ticket for "Paris, je t'aime," which is 18 short films -- all set in Paris -- from 18 directors. I emerged from the theater 2 hours later, hoping to see piles of hail-baseballs outside, telling me it's okay to go home. But, no, nothing seems to have happened. So I'm sitting in the café again, writing this, wondering if I can leave. Has the hail passed us by?
So let me while away a few more minutes and say the film anthology was swell. The films were so short that I didn't get too impatient -- my usual problem. If anything seemed not so good, it would go away very soon. And all the films were pretty good. The only one I disliked was the vampire thing with Elijah Wood, and even that was bad in an absurd enough way to put up with. My favorite was "Tuileries," which starred Steve Buscemi and was directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Just a little scene in the subway, with an American tourist who reads in his guidebook, after staring at a reproduction of the "Mona Lisa" that in Paris, you shouldn't make eye contact with people. Then he makes eye contact with a woman, etc. etc.
Various French and American stars show up for their short sequence. Juliette Binoche is very touching. She encounters Willem DaFoe, who's a dream-cowboy. Ben Gazzara has a turn with Gena Rowlands -- they're in a restaurant, and the waiter is Gérard Depardieu. Who is this Margo Martindale? She appears in a very affecting film, the last one, directed by Alexander Payne, who, in an earlier sequence, played Oscar Wilde, suddenly appearing next to his grave in Pere-Lachaise Cemetery.
Still, no baseball hail. The hell with it. (The hail with it.) I can't stay here forever. I'm taking my
ADDED: ... chances. (Somehow, I neglected to finish that sentence. Failed to write "chances." Fortunately, I made it home alive. Or that would have been freaky. For you.)
UPDATE: "Severe Storm a Non-event in Madison."