I saw Robin Hood today at 4:15pm at the Arclight. Here’s what I came away with:

(Spoiler Alert: There is none.)

You put anyone in a cape, he looks like a badass.

Cate Blanchett has amazing skin.

Prince and then King John was a bit of a party pooper.

Robin Hood liked to fight with a giant hammer on a spike.

I want one.

Ridley Scott currently has 18 (EIGHTEEN!) films in development right now. Dude, get motivated. I just discovered that he started as a production designer. That would explain the aesthetic. His films feel like flexing a muscle. Manly.

I watch a period film as I would The Chronicles of Narnia. It looks mythological. I know these events happened (those durn French) but still, it seems odd that folks actually poured boiling oil on each other. And ran full speed at large wooden doors with a giant wooden spike on their shoulders. And rode horses, deftly in the saddle, for days. And into battle they went, these huge flocks of horses, these gangs of crazy men.

On the way to the movie, my Norwegian friend and I were talking about the gang culture in Los Angeles. I reminisced about Boyz n the Hood. We moved not too long ago, and our new neighborhood seems occasionally, as C puts it, to be a tad territorial. Not that we’ve seen any actual “activity,” but sirens and helicopters aren’t uncommon. When we lived in DTLA, we heard them all the time, but there they seemed urban and daring. Here, we live across the street from a park that C jr loves and there is grass and trees and stuff. It’s relatively suburban. But what I’ve come to realize, is that I think I like a little grit in my tea.

I used to live in West LA. It’s nice. There’s a Bed, Bath and Beyond. The bastards just got a brand, spankin’ new Trader Joe’s. But I always felt a little crammed. Sort of…pinched. It wasn’t until I went east of Highland that I started to breathe a little differently. I like seeing long-term evidence of other cultures. I like eating the food. I like hearing different languages and seeing people drive cars that don’t have a monthly payment equal to a mortgage. I like being reminded that unless you’re brown, you’re in the minority in this city. There are parts of LA that are lovely and manicured and I appreciate their beauty and grace. But I feel like a tourist there.

When you live east of Highland, you start to lose the big box stores and the name brands. Instead, you get street vendors and sidewalk displays and families that picnic on the weekends. In the park across the street they gather in big groups and all the kids go nuts on the playground and all the adults drink beer with lime and tend the grill. The kids laugh their heads off going down the slide, and they offer a hand to C jr as she’s climbing up and they throw socks filled with sand into the air. I sit on the grass next to the playground and watch the mothers talking with their mothers and the fathers jabbing each other in the ribs. I watch the teenagers making out behind the tree and the big guys playing a pick-up game. When the sun becomes honey gold, everyone is suddenly beautiful.

Have you been inside the Gems and Minerals exhibit at the Natural History Museum? It’s filled with over 2000 examples of why I hope we never fully understand nature. When I look at an opal, I don’t need to know why I can never quite get my eyes around its pearly, milky, swirly self. All I know is that it gives me a little ache.

The sun only stays in the honey for a little bit. The air changes, grows cooler. The dimming light makes everyone squint and blink their eyes. The kids begin peeling off the playground and run to fling themselves on their parents. The fathers pour water on the grill and the mothers pack up the leftovers. C jr is still climbing the slide – she could stay here for hours. I stand up, creaking, and watch the last of the gold chase into the horizon. In the distance, a siren wails. It’s the city we live in.