Letters to Holly

Monday, February 27

I'm An Idiot #274

Friday was the usual low-key night: dinner, couch time, early to bed. The evening acts as an airlock through which we prepare for the weekend’s reduced pressure. Nothing gets accomplished on Friday night; we slough off work and slowly wind down.

So when Saturday emerges, we’re ready for pretty much anything. A very weird emotional dream left me worn out, and I had no energy when I woke up. Instead of hitting the gym, I hid in the Greg Cave and worked on the computer. I had noticed that my pro work art files were missing. They weren’t on the new, snazzy PC I bought In December and they weren’t on my at-work computer. As I swept through the new PC, running searches under all possible names, I realized: a) I couldn’t find any of the professional work I had done over the last ten years; and b) they also might no longer be on the old PC. Cue the fainting.

You recall that the old PC’s Windows ME fell apart. I couldn’t run any Windows options save shutting down the computer. If I ran a search, it locked up. If I tried to open My Computer, it locked up. I decided to get a new PC instead of wiping the Windows and starting over on the old system. Fortunately, I could use a non-Windows CD-burning program to copy all my files. In doing this, I apparently never copied my pro stuff. So Sunday saw me unearthing the old PC, plugging it back together, finding the old files, breathing a mammoth sigh of relief, and copying them to CDs. It took a while because my old PC’s CD burner was glacial.

But back to Saturday. That morning, before we departed for some shopping, I watched a little of the 1967 Barefoot in the Park movie. It featured a screenplay written by Neil Simon and three stars who originated the Broadway roles: Robert Redford as Paul, Mildred Natwick as his mother-in-law, and Herb Edelman as the Phone Guy. You might remember the recent NY Times review of the revived play and my surprise at how anyone could make the play unfunny. After seeing the film, I see how this can happen. The movie is SLOW. I suspect the actors are waiting a beat to deliver their lines to give audiences a chance to laugh. This kills the spirit of the dialogue. Simon’s scripts are meant to be delivered quick and straight. You don’t have top act them so much as clearly enunciate. Those air pockets are a bad idea. You don’t see that in the film version of “The Odd Couple” or the other, better Simon adaptations on film. I acknowledge that films of the ‘60s work on a different pace than current films, but that’s no excuse. The Marx Brothers’ better films A Night At The Opera, Duck Soup – were made 20 years earlier. They have those pauses, and they still crack you up. The Barefoot film just makes you chuckle. I also suspect that the feeling of betrayal over Jane Fonda’s Vietnam actions is exacerbated by the deep disappointment of huge, misguided efforts committed by someone who was, at that time, so stunningly hot. Imagine the current film pin-ups – Scarlet, Angelina, Jessica – cheering for the Taliban. Jane is distractingly cute in Barefoot.

After that we tried to buy cell phones at Best Buy. Looks like Verizon will be our only option for coverage here in the mountains. We perused the plan rates and noticed the fine print fees and even settled on phones with an acceptable amount of bells and whistles. This took about 20 minutes. We wanted to be confident in what we were doing, new as we are to whole affair. We get settled and ask for some help. And we’re promptly told they don’t have enough phones in stock. Quoth the Homer: Urge to kill rising. So no phones. Not this weekend. And we may be without for some time. If they merely had enough inventory, we’d be all en-cell-enated. I suspect (as I do often) that they short-stock those phones to bait-and-switch us to the higher-end, more expensive models.

Saturday night we attended the retirement party of Your Sister’s friends. We were there about three hours, shooting the bull with all sorts of school folks and making plans for house parties. We’re hosting two sets of couples from her church on Friday for lasagna. We were hoping to visit one of the school-friend couples Thursday, but I don’t the schedules will work.

But back to Sunday, I helped Your Sister record scores on schoolwork, and we snacked for dinner. I finally showed her “Smile Time,” the most accessible of episodes from the fifth season of Angel. This is where the big, dark vampire hero is magically turned into a puppet. She laughed. When she was supposed to, too. I also got to show her the actress we met at DragonCon. Unfortunately, she didn’t do anything particularly funny in this episode so Your Sister thinks I just have a crush on her.

The Picture of the Day
From here on, Monday will be Sketch Day. This one was an extended doodle from a few months back.

In the news
The Sunni Iraqi government delegation is willing to go back to the table if the Shiites release some occupied mosques. This follows a weekend when Baghdad shut down at the borders and under daytime curfew.


Anonymous said...

I've decided that I don't like seeing the zero next to the word comments. And, too, if I leave you messages here you'll know that I a dilligent reader.
Enjoyed, as always, your previous posts. And especially that Monday has been dubbed "sketch day."

Gregory said...

Every Monday, this I swear.

I've got a lot of sketches for my own characters, and I don't want them online before they're printed.