Well, my camera cable is MIA right now, so I can’t post the pictures from our camping trip – but I can give you an update, so here goes.

Ash and Tapan arrived Friday night, and after a quick trip to Wegman’s for supplies, they made us a delicious dinner of seitan fajitas (seitan is my new favorite protein – or at least it was, until I just wiki’d it, and now I’m feeling slightly ill). We watched Jamie Babbit’s But I’m A Cheerleader, then headed off to bed. The next morning, after packing up the van, we got on the road and played ongoing rounds of Marry, Shag, Kill. After a 3-hour car ride into the far reaches of Northwestern New Jersey, we finally arrived at the campsite, set up our tents next to a small creek, and headed out for Tillman’s Ravine. We found the Ravine pretty easily and hiked around the area for about 40 minutes or so. It was disgustingly humid down in the ravine, though, so we headed back to camp after that and played card games at the picnic table until it started to rain.

After the rain started, we all climbed into my tent to continue playing card games. Ash, Tapan and Donna were safely inside the tent, staying warm and dry, and Don was outside smoking. I walked away from the tent to lock the van, and just I turned my back on the tent, I heard a crash, followed by a thump. I looked back to see a large branch on the ground, right next to Don’s feet. Apparently a nearby tree cracked under the rain, and Don nearly took a branch upside the head. Yikes.

After about an hour of card games, Tapan poked the bottom of my tent – which moved, oddly enough, like a water bed. Turns out the rain was getting under the tent, pooling between the footprint and the floor. We watched the water bed get bigger until I decided to go check on the other tents. Don had a huge puddle inside his tent, in the middle of the floor. Tapan and Ash had the most water, though – they were using my old tent, which is about 15 years old, and the water came in the sides and soaked their blankets and sleeping bag through.

It didn’t take much discussion for us to decide to pack it in and head home. We jammed all the wet stuff in the back of the van (no careful packing of the tents this time) and cruised out in the dark, working on a long game of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon on the way (though we played with any two actors, not Kevin Bacon). Turns out, I’m pretty good at this game, and can link Daniel Radcliffe to Fairuza Balk. Weird.

After some late night pizza and a good night’s sleep, Ash and Tapan talked us in to going to see Inglourious Basterds.

O.M.G.

I have been a fan of Tarantino’s since I was in high school. I recently discovered, though, that I can’t sit through Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction without leaving the room a few times. Violence has become a big problem for me, in terms of entertainment value – and I think, more specifically, torture or people taking pleasure in violence is what really gets me. So why would I want to see a movie that includes the scalping of Nazi soldiers as a revenge tactic? Well, who knows. But I did want to see it, despite my issues.

And OMG I am so glad I did. I think this is easily Tarantino’s best film. He has always been good at creating tension, but he’s never been good at holding it. The tension was always there, but he would deliver the money shot a little too quickly.

Not in this film. Oh no. He extends the tension for an incredibly long time, to the point where I was physically squirming in my seat, and my heart was actually pounding. It was so good. And I have a brand new respect for Brad Pitt, who committed to the role of Aldo Raine with incredible determination.

Oh, and of course I have a new French love:

The beautiful and talented Melanie Laurent.

Seriously, there are so many incredible things happening in this movie. Go see it. Go see it now.

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