Monday, May 05, 2008

Going once, going twice

I am addicted to silent auctions. There's a weird endorphine rush from bidding on a number of items and then having to rush around figuring out how much you owe and whether or not you want to keep bidding. I've won some interesting items at nonprofit silent auctions. At any rate, a friend from high school is involved with the PTSA at her sons' school, and the school had fundraiser. There was a silent auction, a live auction, and a dessert auction.

Suffice to say, the Eddie Izzard tickets I had my eye on quickly bid out (for $275!), as did the tickets to the Seattle show of "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me" (for $225!), the roller blades, and theatre tickets. I did, however, win the tickets to the Seattle Shakespeare Company's June production of As You Like It. Woot. Hmmm, apparently I tend to bid on tickets to shows...

I expected the event to end around 8, because it was a Saturday and I swear every teacher and parent at the school was at the event, so all of West Seattle's babysitters must have been booked. However, apparently it was the place to be that night -- there was only wine and beer during the silent auction, and I had to beg a bottle of water from the volunteers' secret stash. (Alcohol helps with bidding -- I've been to silent and live auctions at nonprofit dinners where there was no cheap or free alcohol, and the bidding is always significantly lower...)

Also, I recall parents and teachers dressing in frumpy, unstylish outfits. But as parents and teachers are now my age or even younger, I found that almost everyone there was très, très chic! And the event did not end at 8... it had barely started by 8:30, when the dessert auction was scheduled to wrap up, so I had to apologize to my table as I took my leave to head over to Ms. Tungsten's to finish watching
Mujhse Dosti Karoge.

Mujhse Dosti Karoge seemed like two different movies before and after intermission. The first half reminded me, bizarrely, of both Cyrano de Bergerac and The Truth About Cats and Dogs: Raj and his family move to London when he's a kid, and for 15 years he thinks he's corresponding with Tina, one of his cute and popular female friends back in India, when it's really Pooja, the other nerdier friend. Years later, he returns and can't seem to figure out why Tina is significantly ditzier than her decades of letters seemed to show, despite the fact that Pooja knows more details about him. This first half was decent, alternating between funny and heartbreaking, even if some of the transitions between scenes and/or songs were rather abrupt.

The second half, however, becomes a weird revenge tale. Since the first half established that Raj and Pooja belonged together because they poured their souls out in their letters for 15 years, the last half focused on the manipulative games they play with each other in determining whether to sacrifice their love or their friendships with other characters. The film keeps tossing in promises that different characters make to each other, and they all have to be honored --vows of love, vows of friendship, prayers to various deities, business transactions, arranged marriages, etc. Wondering how it would end so that Raj would stop being scheming and angry and Pooja would stop being sulky and martyr-like was half the fun, but the ending was a bit of a cop-out. It wrapped things up too neatly for the huge emotional transitions the characters have to go through. Also, reminiscent of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, I didn't find the male character's sudden switch from "wrong" female to the "right" one very believable.

Still, a decent film.

And I found out today that the school raised $40K at the fundraiser! On the one hand, it's a little sad that public schools are so underfunded that they have to rely on contributions. But on the other hand, DAY-am! Their goal was only $4k...

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