May 4, 2010

School of Fish

Last night I went to see Oceans with the roomie and our friend, Christine.

When I learned this movie (well, documentary, actually) was coming out, I got really excited. For one thing, the roomie and I went to see Earth together while we were at Disney World last year, and we loved it. Beautifully filmed and totally endearing, I’ve been excited for more Disney Nature films ever since. Moreover, I’ve been a total shark nerd since before I can remember.

I mean, we’re talking big time, like…


My first memories of life, period, begin in Palos Verdes, California, where I lived a stone’s throw from Marineland of the Pacific. Naturally, we had season tickets.

Was it nature or nurture that cultivated my love for all things waterborne? I guess we’ll never know. What I do know, however, is that Marineland left Palos Verdes right along with me in 1987, so residents of the Vista Pacifica community shall hear those walruses barking no more. Their loss.

I continued to pursue my interest, though, as any kid with a library card is wont to do. Over the next 10 years or so, my recreational reading often looked something like this:

I loved visiting aquariums, watching Jaws, and going on whale watches. I fancied myself a future marine biologist.

Until, that is, I learned that I’d have to actually get in the water.

That is some foolishness if I ever saw it! Screw marine biology, Ma, I’m gonna be a painter.

Truth be told, 20 years later I am neither painting nor marine biologizing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good fish film from the safety of an armchair once in a while. These days, as far as sharks are concerned, let’s just say I prefer the “dock” part of documentary, and Oceans definitely filled my nerdy guilty pleasure quota for a while!

I mean, look at this face:

If you don’t think that’s cute, I’m forced to assume you subsist on a diet of babies and unicorn dreams.

It wasn’t just the imagery that was stunning in Oceans, though…

…it was actually the soundtrack that I found just as fascinating as the wildlife itself.

I don’t mean soundtrack as in music, but rather the actual underwater sounds. To hear a hermit crab burrowing into its home or a shrimp doing battle with a crab was so totally cool, and not something you’d ever experience if you weren’t there underwater (or in a movie theater, as it were).

I think the biggest impact of sight and sound together had to be the moment when an orca plows into the beach to capture a seal.

It was so intense, I think I actually gasped out loud. I imagine being hit by a bus would have a similar effect.

Anyway, you get the idea: Oceans is good fun for people who like nature films (and perhaps Shark Week…).

Naturally, I must also share the dinner part of this dinner-and-a-movie night. Before the fish film, my buddies and I dined at Taze, a local Turkish restaurant. I got my favorite dish, Hunkar Begendi.


AKA smokey eggplant puree topped with grilled salmon, served with a generous side of irony.


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

What a fun post!

Glad you saw the mint softserve. You know I was gonna email you but then was like, umm, that's quite presumptuous of me, so I didnt, and as fate would have it, you saw it. You are the Mint Queen so I am glad you did!

And apparently the dancing queen. I didnt know that..let's go out and dance the next time you're on this side of the country :)

sophia said...

wow, you've hooked me a new interest in oceans....I have a good friend who is majoring in marine biology, and she told me all about swimming with the DOLPHINs..not sharks, mind you. She left that part out!

Gena said...

Dude, awesome! I love nature movies and documentaries. In fact, as a kid, Wild America was my fave (nerd alert). I want to see this!

Gabriela said...

I'm a total nerd too, so I need to see this movie now. It looks like something I'd definitely enjoy! My nerd topic of choice was the Titanic as a kid, but now I just like to learn pretty much anything as long as it's not in a classroom!

Hope you have a great hump day!!

Ilana said...

Alright I'm convinced! I'm going to see Oceans! I'm obsessed with the ocean.

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

I want to see that film too. Sounds really good. The hubs and I are big fans of the ocean in general (he even considered studying oceanography for a while). =)

Mo Diva said...

i might need to see this film. My neph is obsessed with marine life. I got him a whale shark when he was 3 and till this day he carries "Buddy" with him and always has a random ocean fact taht he learned from animal planet. (hes 7 now)

Erica said...

I totally want to see this. And I know Josh would be all about it too- he watches shark week every year! Great pre movie dinner. Hope your week is going well chicky

Christine (The Raw Project) said...

Wow, I really want to see this now. I love all things ocean, great childhood memories of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Marine World and have a geeky fascination with documentaries.

Gina said...

I'm a HUGE shark nerd too!!!! i was always obsessed with sharks as a kid. I watched Jaws a million times, and whenever I could, I chose sharks to write my reports on :)

Anonymous said...

We were, apparently, childhood twins. I was pretty obsessed with nature films and especially all things marine-related! I desperately wanted to be a scuba diver and a marine biologist. Unfortunately, those dreams faded when I realized that I might actually have to take icky science classes. I saw Earth but have yet to see Oceans. It's definitely on my list of must-see movies now. Especially because of those otters; I don't care what people say about kittens and unicorns, otters are the cutest animals on the planet!

Happy weekend!