Letters to Holly

Monday, July 10

Pirates of the Tempest

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 is a fuhntaztic time at the movies. We saw it Friday in a crammed Mayberry theatre. I've never seen that many people in there before, and apparently the film was just as popular all over the country. It set the highest three-day take in history with $132 million and the highest one-day take at $55 million. One has to watch the first movie or else everything is lost upon them, but this blows away the first film with smarts, stunts, and fun. I'd watch it each day for a week if I had the time. I was as casual a fan of the first Pirates as you could hope to meet, but this was converted me as a die-hard. There's not a sour note to be found. We watched the film with Kathy and Travis. Your Sis had to move twice because the Tallest Man in North Carolina sat in front of her twice. She sat, he sat. She moved, he moved. She moved again right as the film started.

On Saturday, we welcomed Penn, Andrea, Brooke, Your Parents and mine to the villa. Your Sis laid out a great pre-lunch snack of cookies and lemonade, and we took turns giving house tours. We ate at Jason's to avoid food complications. Brooke is a very well-behaved kid. She's at that age where she's happy most of the time, and she can throw out words and animal noises. She liked our cats, and they had no problem with her once she continuously fed them her Cheerios. It was a fun time. I finally gave my mom the Elvis license plate from Memphis, and she adored it as she does all things Presley. We gave your family a tour of the school after Andrea asked, and they left for Asheville around 6. We called up Kathy and Travis and had a long dinner at the pub. At 9:30, the town fireworks went off. It was a decent show for a hamlet this size. We taped the Germany-Portugal game and all watched it after the fireworks. Travis knows German and regailed us with translations of the winning team's player names. The guy who scored both goals for Germany is apparently named "pig-mounter."

Sunday, we met up with the family for brunch before sending them back to Alabama. We stayed near Asheville for some shopping. Your Sis wanted organizational gadgets for the house. We both bought new wallets. I found a cheap, cool Old navy shirt, and she ran into a school coach in Best Buy. While Travis and Kathy weren't up for it, we went to Montford Park to see The Tempest.

Picture of the Day
The play featured a black female Prospero, but happily for me, they weren't injecting a new interpretation. She was simply playing the role. That's her on the left. We got there about an hour before the show and were the first to claim seating. We carried along folding chairs, a cooler of grub, and various drinks. About 45 minutes later, we had to move. We had sat in the dead center near the top of the ampitheater, but everyone who followed sat in front of us in a column. The play wasn't bad. As with all community productions, the quality of acting will vary, sometimes wildly. Prospero was played with projection but no inflection. She was just spouting dialogue with no real feel. This is a character who exudes heft, power, and wisdom. He is the center of the play. She didn't have that. The younger actors (Ariel, the lovers, the conspirators, and Caliban) had energy, while the older ones seemed to have less experience on stage. They had little to no emotion and simply moved from mark to mark. One actor was so weak, Your Sis heaved a sigh of resignation every time he started to talk. Again, I watch these kinds of shows and want to get back on stage. It's a deep itch.

After the show, this was about 10:30, we drove home to watch Italy and France play the World Cup final. We had somehow gotten through the day without knowing who won. When I called Travis to invite them to join us, it was about 4:30, and he said they were still watching the game. I checked my TiVo and noticed it was no longer recording. The game had stretched beyond the network prgramming; the machine will by default stop recording when a show is scheduled to end. Because the final stretched into a shootout, the machine had long ago stopped taping. I turned on the TV just long enough to make it record the rest of the game and turned it right off. I knew it went to a shootout but not how the teams had initially scored. We watched the game and then jumped to the final two kicks, just in time to see Italy win. Only through replays did we see Zidane lose his shit and headbutt the Italian player. That was just as dumb as Rooney's red-card move that cost England their semifinal game. His earlier penalty kick was astounding in guts and skill, but it and his head-butt suggests a confidence that slipped into arrogance. I'm glad the Cup is done. I've feasted on soccer for a while now and can use the break.

In the news
A District Court ruled that companies cannot offer sanitized Hollywood movies as it infringes copyrights. I've been aware of this trend for about eight years now. Rental outlets try to win over customers by taking away all the violence and sex from popualr movies. The president stated about five years ago that this is how he prefers his movies. I have no problem with people using their own purchased equipment to edit movies they buy, but I agree that these companies have broken a law by selling pre-edited copies. There are some companies that will only edit what is sent to them by customers, and that's OK by me.

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