Best Bets: A ball, a film fest, Super Bowl - isn't this fun?

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2003

You know when you hang around a group of people you start picking up their language habits? Like when I was in college l used to shorten words into a college lingo I called "the abbrev," so the library was "the lib" and dinner was "din," as in "What's for din?"

The thing about picking up little lingo is you have to be careful not to use it inappropriately outside of the lingo circle of people who also use it. Like you can't ask the waitress at the Fiddlehead "Hey lady, what's for din?" The tricky part is sometimes you pick up the lingo without knowing it, sort of like becoming a carrier of a disease, and then you are in the wrong place when it slips out.

Well, I spent some time last week hanging out with the Juneau Republican Women who are coordinating the inaugural ball for Gov. Murkowski and now I keep calling everything "fun." Republican women are heavy users of "the fun," as in "isn't that a fun handbag?"

Yesterday I inappropriately used "the fun," complete with an irony-less Loni Anderson inflection, in a one-sided conversation with a supermarket checker as I bought a frozen Lean Cuisine chicken primavera. As in, "Isn't that a fun low-fat meal option?" The checker responded by blinking, twice, and asking if I wanted cash back.

So anyway, here are a bunch of fun things to do this weekend.

Appropriately, the first one is the inaugural ball. The Republican women have been planning their hearts out for weeks, and it looks like it will be a good time with live music and good food, and impressive, sparkly decorations.

The whole thing starts with the Governor's Inaugural Celebration Family Event, 1:30-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Nugget Mall. There will be a big indoor parade with the Murkowskis and all the various classic dancing, drumming, high-school banding Juneau parade fodder, plus games, clowns and a teen rock band.

The Governor's Inaugural Ball runs from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at Centennial Hall, the Goldbelt Hotel and Merchants Wharf. Tickets, available at Hearthside Books, are $35 for all three venues.

I also think you should go to the JUMP Film Festival. If it is Thursday when you are reading this, that means in a couple of hours, so set the VCR to tape "Will and Grace."

Let me just tell you what kind of intriguing stills festival director Pat Race sent me over this week.

Possibly my favorites were shots from the short film with the self-explanatory title, "16 Reasons You Didn't Submit a Film," by Gage Choat. These included an amateurish scene in which a boy, like a scheming Godzilla in a backwards cap, looms over a cardboard dwarf metropolis. In another scene, a giant tin-foil robot leers toward a terrified high school student.

I think this movie will crack you up, especially after a glass of Silverbow Merlot.

Pat also sent me a beautiful portrait of Mr. Darby from "Talkin' to Mr. Darby," a film in which Joel Bennett interviews Darby, a wrinkled-faced man who works at a vegetable stand on a South Carolina roadside.

The Juneau Underground Motion Picture Society Festival will play for free at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, and Friday, Jan. 24, at The Back Room at the Silverbow.

If you don't already have plans to eat the hot wings and ranch dressing in front of the game on Sunday, you might stop by Marlintini's Lounge for "Juneau's Biggest Super Bowl Party," where there will be a free buffet, giveaways and the large screen. The party starts the Irish way, at 10 a.m., but the game starts at 2. To avoid making work for the diligent young man who must input our letters to the editor, I will not reveal in this column whether I am rooting for the Raiders or the Bucs.

That's it for this week, and thanks for reading. If you want to submit an item to be featured in next week's This Week, submit today, a week in advance. And, have fun!

Julia O'Malley can be reached at

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