As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden

21412202The first movie I can remember watching is The Princess Bride. I’m sure there were Disney movies before that, but this is the first movie I have a clear memory of watching. My family would always spend a week on the Outer Banks with another family (the parents were my parents best friends from college) and one evening, they put in the VHS tape of The Princess Bride. I know I didn’t get all the jokes, but it was fast and funny with all the things that Peter Falk describes at the beginning – “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…” I also, of course, had a huge crush on Westley!

That was the first of MANY, MANY viewings. So, when I saw that Cary Elwes was coming to the Castro Theatre in 2015 for a Quote-Along screening of the film, followed by a Q&A and book signing, I knew we had to be there. The screening itself was hilarious. It was so fun to be with 3000 other people who know all the words and enjoy being dorks about it. My dad even got an inflatable sword to wave about when they start fighting. The Q&A highlighted a few of the anecdotes from the book, but the best part was getting my copy of the book signed by the man himself. I can’t recall what I might have said (if anything at all), but I DO remember that his eyes were incredible! I was giddy the whole way home, having met my first crush and not embarrassing myself (for once).

IMG_4170

Meeting Westley in person

Oh right, the book! I don’t know why it took me so long to actually finish this book as it’s a delightful read. Elwes is self-deprecating about his own part in things, while heaping glowing praise on his co-stars. It’s a lovefest all around, as his co-stars also contribute anecdotes related to each chapter. I loved the behind the scenes photos and all of his stories about Andre the Giant. I also hadn’t realized all the work that went into the sword fight as well as how extended it became at the last minute. Elwes is good-natured about how the movie is entwined with his legacy, which is always nice to read, since some actors get tetchy about associated with one role, no matter how long ago it was.

My only quibble with the book is that the anecdotes from his cast members are presented in boxes along with the main text, so it’s hard to figure out when the read them without losing the story that Elwes is telling. I’m sure there’s a good reason for the publisher doing this, but it was rather distracting. However, the book has further enhanced my enjoyment of the movie (which was on cable this week) as I watch for all the little things he mentioned. Knowing that he really was knocked unconscious after the Fire Swamp put that scene a whole new light! But I don’t want to give away anymore – you should really just read the book because it’s excellent, and then watch the movie because it’s excellent.

“Yes, you’re very smart. Shut up.”

Advertisements

True Story: I Went to SoulCycle

A few weeks ago, one of my assistants mentioned that one of her roommates is an instructor at SoulCycle and she could get us a free ride. I’ve heard about this place for years, but never wanted to spend the amount of money for one fitness class, especially since I can go to unlimited free spin classes at the gym at work. However, I definitely wanted to know what all the hype was about, so I was happy to finally have a good excuse to clip in and ride!

img_9218Unfortunately, half our group bailed before we got to Saturday and my assistant was running late, so I was on my own when I first got there. Surrounded by the women of the Marina who definitely look like they spend their life at SoulCycle, I felt pretty out of place as I checked in, signed a waiver, and was handed my cycling shoes.

There’s a nice series of lockers of various sizes to put your stuff, which is considerate and helpful. About 15 minutes before the start of class, we were let into the room, which is stacked to the gills with bikes. Even when I took rec center classes, I don’t think I’ve ever been this close on all sides to the people riding with me. You are assigned a bike number when you make your reservation and there is staff on hand to help newbies (and basically anyone who raises their hand) properly set up your bike. You can also choose your proper weights (stored beneath the saddle) and put your water in the holder under the bars. You get a towel with your bike. The staff will show you how to clip in and out of the pedals, though this is easier said than done (flicking my ankles just isn’t a natural movement)!

Continue reading

True Story: I Went to a David Duchovny Concert

Back in the halcyon days of early November, while we were still basking in the glow of a Cubs World Series win, David Duchovny tweeted his North American tour schedule. (I know, I know, I’ll give you a moment to deal with that sentence.) I put out the call to find my other “ladies of a certain age” who needed to share this experience with me.

And I found my people quickly.

Five days later, the U.S. elected a new president and my attention was focused elsewhere. (Has it really only been three months? I feel like I’ve aged YEARS!) Luckily, my friends were on the ball:

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-8-53-04-pm

Continue reading

A Trip to Giants FanFest

Though I’ve been a Giants fan since 2005, I’ve never attended FanFest before. My dear friend, Jen, has attended the Chicago White Sox equivalent, SoxFest, since I’ve known her and raved about it every year. I know that Giants FanFest is run differently and this year I finally got up the courage to go. My lovely friend, George, a FanFest veteran, agreed to go with me and be my guide. It was everything and nothing that I wanted it to be, but I had a great day and I know I’ll be more prepared the next time I go.
Together We're Champions

Continue reading