November 20, 1999

Weekend Summary

I've been re-reading my latest entries and feeling extremely dissatisfied with the voice in them.

Simply put, they don't "sound" like me, neither me just "talking" or "essayist" me or "prose-writer" me.

It's funny, but this is what happens when I write too much. Everything sounds stilted and uneasy, because I'm forcing myself to comment on topics that may or may not be of any great importance to me, either from the heart, or from the head.

This weekend began on Friday night, with a double-header at the movies. We took in both The World is Not Enough and Sleepy Hollow, back-to-back, with a very narrow margin of minutes in between.

This concerned me, because of the two, Sleepy Hollow was my movie of choice, but this was the only film with a midnight show, hence we had to see that one at midnight and sneak out of The World is Not Enough early.

This would have been fine, if they'd started the movie on time. But the theater was packed to the gills, even at the 9:45 showing. I went in a half hour early because I had to pee and it's a good thing I did, otherwise we'd have been sitting in the front few rows craning our necks to see.

As Bond movies go, The World is Not Enough was pretty good. Denise Richards is the perfect Bond girl: pure eye-candy, Sophie Marceau was good as the slightly crazed, many-layered, but intensely sexy Elektra King and well, Pierce Brosnan was born to play Bond and it's so stupid that he wasn't able to play him sooner.

In essence, Bond movies always are a packed 2 hours of "big badda boom," witty repartee and bad jokes married with funky international spy plots. Often the denouement is more of a "Well ... duh!" as opposed to an "Oh ... wow" but this one actually had a few tricks up its sleeve -- though I did gain some satisfaction at having it all figured out before Sabs did.

Sleepy Hollow on the other hand, was absolutely amazing. I could have dealt with a few less graphic scenes of gory head-cutting and blood-spurting, but the panorama that Burton creates is exceptional. As Roger Ebert put it, you're taken into this mental space by the decor and it doesn't let you go, even after you've left the theater.

Though liberties are taken with the plot of the original tale, they don't get in the way at all, rather a lot of decent character development is added that makes the story even more interesting.This movie should have come out at Halloween, because it's a very classy scarefest in the truest sense. The acting is all spot-on, with Johnny Depp turning out a marvelously stiff-lipped Ichabod Crane and Christina Ricci looking ephemeral and absolutely lovely in period garb and suitably high-flown language.

The supporting cast is all great as well, especially Miranda Richardson as Katrina Van Tassel's stepmother and Marc Pickering as Young Masbeth.

This movie proves amply that Burton's still got the goods where slightly off-kilter, spine-chilling films are concerned.

Other Entertainments
On Saturday, we went to the Natural History Museum as planned with Ann and her friend Hyoun and mostly had a good time, though our feet were killing us by the end. We saw exhibits on the Ainu of Japan, walked through a bunch of the Native American Cultures dioramas, admired the stuffed tiger, then went upstairs and went through the entire Development of Western Culture exhibit at Sabs' request. The visit was wrapped up with a quick drop in to see the Hope Diamond, which I'd never seen before and then some meanderings through the Gift Shop.

Sabs picked up a book of soup recipes from monasteries around the world and I picked up a copy of The Cat's House.

Now, anyone who is a cat person will be able to appreciate this book and I'm thinking about building a bunch of catwalks for my piddies now. So if you are indeed a cat person and you haven't read this book yet, hie thyself over to the website (

I've determined that I didn't have enough time in the Western Culture exhibit -- after all it chronicles the rise of humankind, from early Homo Sapiens through the Greeks and Romans, so it's hard to take it all in, in a short period of time. That's an exhibit I'd like to go back to and re-examine more closely, especially the sample tiles of Akkadian writing from the Babylonian era.

The Ainu exhibit was interesting, but I felt that it could have been fleshed out more, with more video footage and interviews with Ainu who are still around today.

At any rate, it was nice to spend some time with Ann again, and we're going to try to stay in better touch and get together more often before she runs off to grad school next year.

On Sunday I had brunch with Marlo at Copeland's and we had an excellent "girl-talk" session on the steps of my apartment building afterwards, since the poor dear is allergic to cats and our place makes her wheeze like a bellows.

Then I called Winnie in Blacksburg and discovered that she hasn't been getting my emails and that's why she hasn't been writing to me. She should be in town this week to check out apartments and do more job-hunting and I so hope that she decides to live near us, because y'know, I miss having a best friend of the female persuasion.

The weekend wrapped up with much watching of TV and vegging on the couch.

I don't know where this overwhelming sense of fatigue is coming from, but it's really hard to shake it.

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