Saturday, April 28, 2007

Updates, Information and Other Fascinating Tidbits

*S is still wearing the sleeveless shirt to our weekly get-together with friends. Still starting buttoned. Still ending up unbuttoned over a, sadly now stained, white sleeveless t-shirt. We're thinking that a CB radio should be her next gift to help prepare her for her future career.

*The desktop computer continues to give us fits. Serious ones. Friends and neighbors will most likely not be surprised to find the computer trying out its new occupation as a lawn ornament. The Company Which Shall Not Be Named that made the computer is not a favorite of mine right now either. We've given said company *hours* of our time. Hours, I tell you. Next time Blue Screen comes to call, they're going to have to pick up this thing and work out their differences with Computer themselves. Blue Screen may be having the time of its life, but we certainly aren't.

*Disappointing movie news:
I watched The Curse of the Golden Flower the other night. If you're looking for something to provide an opportunity for existential musing, this is your ticket. Gorgeous, utterly over-the-top set design and completely ridiculous story line. Stunning actors mouthing silly dialogue. Responsible adults acting on reasonable assertions? People simply drawn up in the web of fate and unable to change their lives? Like it? Hate it? Love it? Who knows?

The Last King of Scotland was an unbelievable disappointment. Lurid storytelling with very little attention paid to character development. We never fully understood any of the characters and what drove them. I adore Forest Whittaker, but I'm sad to say, I just don't quite see this as an extraordinary performance. I'm looking for something other than mimicry when I see a biographical portrayal of someone on the stage or screen. Two dimensional caricature I can find easily. Fully realized portraits of a real human being are a bit tougher to locate. I couldn't help but compare this to The Queen, a far superior film that doesn't stoop to simple imitation but appears to strive for something deeper.

*East Wind Melts the Ice by Liza Dalby is phenomenal. While primarily a naturalist's journal, it's also a personal memoir as well as an introduction to ancient Chinese and Japanese culture. Absolutely lovely. I'm enjoying every page.

I'm still reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It's surprising that I haven't finished it since I am enjoying it, but it's one of those books that languishes on the night stand while others get picked up. It's a bit dense, a little too wordy and somewhat self-consciously "educational". That said however, it's intensely atmospheric and there's a palpable sense of dread to the pages. I will definitely finish it.

I've picked up Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach again. I'm finding it great fun but a bit thin so far. We'll see how I feel once I've finished it.

*I've discovered that handwork actually takes work. Grueling labor. Intensive stitching and equally vigorous ripping out of stitches. This is work I'm not terribly sure I'm cut out for. There's a reason that children started working on embroidery when they were preschool aged once upon a time. This stuff is hard. I'm definitely feeling nostalgic for the amiability of Knitted Dishcloth.

*I've also discovered a perplexing reaction that I have when someone is booted off of Dancing With the Stars. I always think I'll be pleased to have someone off the show that I've found irritating, but instead I always feel desperately sorry for them. This is my first experience watching a show that 'eliminates' contestants. It's pretty darn brutal. Who knew I'd have such a soft spot for those the other viewers have forsaken? You learn something new about yourself every day, I guess.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!


Kristin said...

I think I may have already sent this
to you, but it's apropos for your dysfunctional relationship with your desktop : )

Q said...

Dear Mary,
The dreaded "BLUE SCREEN"...
Glad you are enjoying "Eastwind Melts The Ice". I find I very influenced by this book.

Mrs. Staggs said...

Oh dear, sorry to hear about your computer problems. That's always frustrating....and bad movies to top it all off!
It's interesting how pulled in we are with that show. I didn't feel so bad when Clyde was voted off though. I think he could hardly wait for tee time!
I hope you have a nice weekend too!