March 13th, 2011


Blood Audio

Got Greg Bear's Blood Music audio book on CD from the library, and have been listening to it in the car. This is the first audio book I have listened to, on the theory I prefer to provide my own voices inside my head. The reader is very good, and I'm enjoying the experience a lot more than I expected to.

Filled out a filing extension request form for the trust's taxes. I keep getting last-minute updates from the brokerages. Hard to hit a moving target.

Watched some Japan coverage, and am appalled at the sensationalism**. Ditto the Santa Cruz Harbor coverage.  To me, it looked like most of the damage was preventable. And I wonder, with 10 hours' warning, would it not have been better to take as many vessels out to open ocean as possible?

**Yes, it is a heartbreaking loss of life and property. But we are mostly shown the same worst-case images over and over again, and every "news" channel was trying its best to predict massive nuclear explosions from the two damaged plants. NBC was pushing for a "China Syndrome" scenario, which is ridiculous, and totally nonsensical.

Aquarium day. Pet Club to replace the filter for the 10-gal tank, and buy an over-priced bouquet of plastic plants to give the young anacari a place to hide. Then to Seascapes, where it is always a challenge to get help, but the petite blonde knows her stuff, and was able to find me a decent sized female betta and some live plants. While she was in the back bagging my fish, the two useless staff at the counter were deciding how much betta conditioner to buy. I told them I thought it sad that they make betta conditioner, but not betta shampoo. They laughed. 

Spent a lot of time snuggling with the cats. Pumpkin is finding new and more imaginative ways of wedging his 20# bulk between my arm and the recliner's arm.

Hardly ate anything today.

Plans for tomorrow:
True Grit  matinée at the local cinema
Weird Dream

Weird Dream Channel

It is a bright sunny day and I think I am in British Columbia. I am driving my IRL car across a landscape which looks like the wasteland around a volcano, but there are no mountains in sight. I am driving towards the ocean, which I can see in the distance.  Off to the right is a light blue tower with white wave symbols near the top, which I know is the ferry terminal. I'm going to be taking the ferry, but on foot. I am looking for a place to park the car, and there are these depressions in the volcanic rock that are big enough to park the car in. As I watch, another car parks in a cave-like spot, with a nice sheltering overhang. Wish I had seen it first. There are two good spots in range, one down at sea level, the other is up on the higher level where I am driving. I decide it's the better spot, even though it means walking all the way around to the left side of my level to get down to the lower level where the ferry dock is.

I have walked to the right - to a depression in the landscape which gives me a view of the ferry tower, and it is in hearing range of any arrival announcements. I am lying on my back, my gym bag is next to me, and I have stripped completely, getting ready to put on a different set of clothes, when a couple parks nearby. I lie very still, hoping they don't see me. They both get out of their car, the man is absorbed with the ocean view, he is out of sight and facing away from me. The woman is short, very fat, had short blond hair and is wearing gold-rimmed glasses. She is dressed in a light blue velour track suit with white piping.  It actually looks pretty good on her.

She walks right over to my little crater, sits on the rim facing me, and in a matter of fact tone tells her husband "there's a man in there" and she makes some suggestions about what the thee of us might do together, which I don't quite hear. I tell her I had better put some clothes on, and reach into my gym bag and start getting dressed.

She seems disappointed, and I wake up as I am still dressing and she and her husband are walking down to the dock.
Costume Malfunction

True Grit

Went to see this because many diverse friends said they enjoyed it, and thought Hailee Steinfeld, who played Mattie, should have won an Oscar. I also went on the theory that maybe a remake of the 1969 film with actual actors (Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon) in the leads instead of John Wayne and Glenn Campbell ought to be a lot better.

It wasn't.

I found Hailee's acting stilted, forced and uninspired. I've been onstage with 14-year-olds with far more talent. The awkward script did not help. It did not help any of the characters. Cinematography was better in the 1969 movie, so was location selection.

Jeff Bridges made the same mistake John Wayne had made - he was over the top in all the character scenes. The only part I enjoyed was his courtroom scene toward the start of the movie. Wayne won an Oscar for his role, ostensibly, but most of the industry will tell you it was more of a lifetime achievement award than a best actor award, and Richard Burton was robbed that year. Not that Burton needed another award at that point. But I digress.

Matt Damon is one of my all time favorite actors, starting with his brilliant work in Good Will Hunting. The role of Le Boeuf did not fit him at all, and he mostly phoned it in. I don't think he believed a single word his character uttered.

It does not surprise me that with 10 nominations, this movie went home empty-handed.

I did enjoy Barry Pepper's portrayal of bad guy Ned Pepper. It was too small a role for any kind of nomination, and his costume was ridiculous, but he impressed me. Speaking of costumes, it looked like they just grabbed random pseudo-period pieces off the racks and threw them indiscriminately at the actors.

The score was nondescript, at least it wasn't annoying and did not make the film any less enjoyable.

All in all, not worth matinée price. I should have waited for it to be on Netflix streaming in a year or two.