bunt sign

Saturday, March 2, 2002

With the help of pills and potions, and because the wind finally died down around noon today, I'm feeling a little better. When I went to bed last night, I was thinking I might be in for a long siege. But all I had to deal with today was burning eyes, a stuffy head and a scratchy throat. You know, spring.

Still, I wasn't willing to chance spending a lot of time out in the weather, nice as it was. So I invited Mom to come over and watch the DVD of Moulin Rouge, which neither of us had seen. I know I said I wouldn't buy any DVDs of movies I hadn't seen already, but I made an exception because so many people whose opinions I respect said it was a great film. And also because it was on sale, and came with a whole second disc full of extra features. And because I'm weak.

At first I thought the movie was going to be too weird for Mom. I even thought for a while it might be too off the wall for me, and I like off the wall stuff. But once you get used to the idea that it's not a conventional musical (or a conventional anything) and let yourself be surprised instead of jarred by whatever's coming next, it's an easy movie to like.

It's all about big themes, like truth, beauty, freedom and love (but especially love). And sacrifice and betrayal and death, too. But it's the whole experience that makes the film a pleasure to watch. It's visually riveting, from the sets to the camera work. And the music drives the story in a way that's almost operatic (even though it's twentieth century pop music in a nineteenth century setting).

I haven't watched the special features or the second disc yet, but I will. I want to know more about what makes this film so unique. A lot of imagination came from somewhere to make it, because it's different from anything else I've seen. The fact that Hollywood has embraced it and nominated it for best picture is a good sign, I think, that an unusual vision doesn't mean a film maker will be marginalized or overlooked.

The other nominated films tell intriguing stories in different ways, and I could get behind a win by any of them. I loved A Beautiful Mind, Gosford Park and In the Bedroom (in more or less that order), and I'm sure The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is great because everyone tells me so (it's the only one of the five I haven't seen, but I will, and after I do this will be the first year ever that I've seen all five nominees before the awards ceremony).

in the garden

One of the birdbaths blown over by yesterday's windstorm.

It's a good thing my DVD remote has a pause button, because the phone rang four or five times while we were watching the movie this afternoon. All but once it was the Boss, and the other time it was someone looking for him. I thought I was safe taking a Saturday off, but I'd told him we needed money and he was trying to chase down some payments owed to us. Since it was my idea, I figured I should take the time to help him. And we did get one apology and a couple of promises, which are almost as good as money.

When I opened the mail today, I found an envelope from the Boss containing his sample ballot. He'd also sent me his offficial request for an absentee ballot, which he'd filled out and signed. For some reason he's incapable of putting a stamp on a post card and mailing it himself. It always has to come back to me and get mailed from here.

Well, now it's too late for him to vote in next Tuesday's primary election. The deadline for the county clerk to receive the request was last Tuesday. I didn't tell him he wasn't going to be able to vote, but he probably knows by now.

If he could, he'd probably have me fill out his ballot and mail that in, too.

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Latest recommendations:

Bill, The Daily Epiphany, February 15, Curling

Ellen, Under the Microscope, February 27, The Younger Child Blues

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Middling Miracles
"Everything was happening at the same time, and none of it made sense."

Two years ago: Plausible Deniability
"If we wanted to make each other miserable, it would be incredibly easy."

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And I trust that you'll excuse my dust when I step on the gas.