Yesterday, thanks to a donation of squashes (and a tiny eggplant) from Janetʼs folks on a quick visit Sunday, I again made our new soup (at least that is my hope/plan as I write this post during the lunch hour, intending to get this and at least one more post completed as my Tuesday task, presumably once again in lieu of actually writing something of [im]possible salable value).
It has been both rainy and hot and humid lately. The forecasters say that weather pattern is supposed to break after we hit a nineties-high today (Wednesday), and I am looking forward to the change. Not that the heat and atmospheric moisture have been of the intolerable lay-you-somnolent-and-ill-at-ease-in-a-webbed-hammock kind (as I can recall one fortnight of indolence and discomfort about thirty years ago, which dominate my memories of whatever summer that was — probably ʼ79 or ʼ80 — with images and physical sensations of lolling drenched in my own perspiration attempting to read but often dozing off, until my life pattern became all-night reading until about 10:00 AM, at which point I would sleep through the heat of the day, arising about 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening; I reread almost all of John Brunnerʼs science fiction that way). But I ended up mowing a very wet lawn after unpredictedly early rains arrived Monday about noon, ceasing only between 2:30 and 5:30 (the time when I got out there and mowed the yard, the machine clogging itself regularly with thick, wet chopped “hay” that I had to knock or dredge out from the housing around the blade, as my body precipitated heavily; I still have a huge bag of clippings to cart to our yard waste disposal site). Once Janet got home from work, it rained hard enough to create a little lake in our sunken corner of the drive, and then it drizzled through the evening. Real rain returned just as I was going to leap manfully from bed this morning for my run (instead I returned for another two hours of sleep once Janet and I had closed the windows around the house).
Just now (Tuesday noon, my realityʼs time) the sun has come out after a dull, gray morning. Not that I would have noticed, as I elected to watch Jane Campionʼs Bright Star on Starz, having caught a few minutes from a previous showing on Monday and learning that it would begin again on Tuesday at 7:45 AM. Itʼs a good flick, although I only ever saw uniformly dismissive and negative reviews when it came out. The opening sequence brought to (onscreen) life images I had summoned to my mindʼs eye reading Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier — actually listening to the audiobook, a onetime practice I have fallen away from in the last year, that book being the only audiobook Iʼve heard/read since retirement. I got started on an essentially tedious nonfiction book about Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel that was performed in such an utterly dolorous and dreary (and pretentious) way that I never finished, and that evidently put me off listening to books (at least for a while), which is what I used to do always when I ran in the mornings — now itʼs just music. Anyway. I liked the movie well enough (and I pulled out my collected Keats to dip into some of the verse because of seeing the film). Bright Star is quiet and understated, like the era it portrays, in some ways, and the sets and costumes are very nice, as is the overall period feeling conveyed. I did not find the quoting of Keats obtrusive or silly, as some of the reviewers claimed. The performances are really good, too, inspiring me to google Abbie Cornish, the beloved Fanny Brawne, in order to learn more about this actress. My female readers might prefer to check up on Mr. Keats, Ben Whishaw, who was emotive and pedculiar as the poet, but interestingly suggestive of genius. Personally, I was very impressed by Paul Schneider as Keatsʼs friend Mr. Brown (and whom I did not recognize from his role on NBCʼs Parks and Recreation series).
I also highly recommend Burning Bright (the subject there being William Blake), which I decided to select at the library because I really, really enjoyed the same authorʼs The Lady and the Unicorn (although it was made into a movie, I havenʼt read, or even listened to Girl with a Pearl Earring… yet). Historical novels (and films, I guess) are fun for me.
Iʼll be movie-watching again today (I think), having rented Avatar at the video store on Saturday. Janet has absolutely no interest in it (ironically, she also turned down The Hurt Locker that day), and although James Cameronʼs flick seems cartoonish to me at a distance, I thought this sci fi fan owed it a watch. If itʼs any good, maybe Iʼll write a very late review for the blog. I really had but a tiny interest in seeing Titanic more than a decade ago, as well, but soapy as the plot was, it won me over; now itʼs one of the movies Janet and I pull out for a regular reviewing (literally so, in this case — “seeing again”), rating right up there with Doctor Zhivago (more a favorite of mine than hers, I think), For the Boys, The Commitments (and letʼs recommend any book by Roddy Doyle at this point), The Princess Bride (although the book really is better) and maybe a half dozen others we treasure together (owning all those on VHS, which is how we still watch them). Thatʼs also where I, Claudius of previous mention (on to episode 7 this coming Sunday), Jeeves and Wooster, Monty Pythonʼs Flying Circus and Rumpole of the Bailey belong as well, treasured favorites (although TV series and owned on DVD — I may just have to throw away the old off-the-air VHS recordings I made of most of those). Quite dated viewing now in this millennium, but justifiably a kind of “classics” (horribly abused word, as I just did myself).
I certainly shouldnʼt label this random thought-ramble as an essay, but it is a post, so up it goes… One more bit of writing to complete, and then itʼs soup-making time for me.