The Friday Five, 6/14/24: 5 things I've been up to this week

How is already mid-June? Time is going by super fast. I am headed (back; see below) to Ann Arbor this weekend for the Cinetopia Film Festival, which I'm pretty excited about; I used to go every summer from 2014-19, and this is the first time it's back since the pandemic. 

Yo-Yo Ma at Hill Auditorium, Ann Abor (2nd from left)
Yo-Yo Ma at Hill Auditorium, Ann Abor (2nd from left)

What I've been up to this week:
  1. Going to Ann Arbor to see Yo-Yo Ma in concert. This is maybe the 3rd or 4th time I have seen him in concert (or maybe 5th; I've lost track). I didn't know he was playing with a full orchestra, and only playing 1 of the 4 songs, which was a little disappointing, but he's always an amazing performer—the most memorable time I saw him was actually when I was a student at UM, and he did a week-long residency there with the School of Music kids. He had a paid concert, which I attended, but also a workshop with them which was free to the public, and it was really cool to watch. For this week's concert, he played with another performer, Kayhan Kalhor, who plays the kamancheh (seemed like a stripped-down cello to me), and of course their song was excellent, as was the orchestra, but I wish he played for longer.
  2. Going out to eat. On Friday, I met a friend at Granite City in Troy for their happy hour—all the appetizers are half-off, so it was a great deal. On Saturday night, my parents and I got takeout at Jersey Mike's in Novi, and on Tuesday, I went to one of my favorite restaurants, Blimpy Burger, with a friend, before the Yo-Yo Ma concert. Last night I also got pretzel bites at AMC for my movie, which are always tasty. 
  3. Seeing movies. I rewatched the original Inside Out (2015) to prepare for the movie I saw yesterday at my local AMC, Inside Out 2, in 3D. Honestly I think I maybe liked this one more than the original—I gave the original 3.5/5 in my initial 2015 review, and I stand by that rating in my rewatch, whereas I would give this one 4/5 stars (see my Instagram video review here). Tonight I'm seeing a movie called Tuesday, which, funny enough, is also on the Cinetopia lineup, but it didn't align with my schedule. 
  4. Watching TV shows. We started Ren Faire, on Max, which has been a trip—we have gone to the Texas Renaissance Festival, on which the show focuses, two years in a row now, and I didn't know ANYTHING about "King George" and the other subjects of the documentary. It's only a three-part documentary and we have seen two of the episodes so far. Perfect Match also returned to Netflix this week, and it's been fun to watch because I "know" a lot of the cast from other Netflix shows such as Too Hot to Handle, Love is Blind, and more. I also binged part 2 of Bridgerton yesterday, on Netflix, and watched one episode of Presumed Innocent, on AppleTV, with Jake Gyllenhaal, which was okay. I've also still been watching Trying, also on AppleTV, which is cute.
  5. Figuring out my Cinetopia schedule. In the past, I would go hard and see like ... 16 Cinetopia movies over the two weekends it occurred, but this year I'm only going to see 5 movies, since it's only in Ann Arbor (used to be Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, and Dearborn). It goes on for about a week and a half, actually, but since A2 is a bit of a drive for me, I'm just going to movies this Saturday and Sunday (and staying overnight—thanks, Delta card $150 hotel credit!). I have a good lineup picked with my five movies, IMO, but I also have a few alternates picked out, as some of the movies are in the Michigan Theater screening room which is rather small (going to be honest, I'm a little bummed none of the ones I picked are in the main room at the Michigan—it's really nice and they have an organ player play between movies!). It should be a good time, though, minus the weather, which is going to be kinda gross this weekend (80s-90s).
Blimpy Burger, Ann Arbor (the BEST onion rings!)
Blimpy Burger, Ann Arbor (the BEST onion rings!)

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