Last night, in an attempt to outweird our last RI weird date (return of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies in a smoky, white-stout-breeder packed, electronic slots casino ten minutes northwest of Providence) J and I ate at Texas Roadhouse.

J managed to find the only way to be déclassé in national chain steakhouse with peanut shells on the floor: she ate her ribs with a knife and fork.

We followed it up with a MacBook screening of a film her father billed as a documentary about firefighters– which turned out to be the boxoffice flop Ladder 49 featuring Joaquin Phoenix and John Scientology-Pie Travolta. Halfway through J realized that her father describes most movies as if they were documentaries. I thought about the magical way my mother transforms every plot into something between historical fiction and tragic melo-crime-drama. Snow Falling On Cedars, as you can imagine, is her favorite book/movie.

And just to top it off, I learned who River Phoenix was. Information J was shocked to discover I did not already know. Wikipedia has always been my best source of cult-related information on the web. Just to top it off, it turned out that yesterday was River’s birthday. I’d go as far as to say I’m a little blue about his death, too. Who can resist such a girlish cult-raised boy? It’s so American!helter skelter

Speaking of which, word of warning to those of you traveling to the Bay Area. J and I drove over to San Quentin and I know that I should have been filled with some sadness and some rage about wrongful imprisonment and then some confusion about capital punishment. But all of those feelings were overcome by sheer terror at my proximity to Charles Manson. You would have been frightened too if you had no aversion to seeing really, really bad movies and consequently believed Manson looks like he did in Thir13en Ghosts.

Sleep Tight.