- First, the bad news: As plumtreeblossom posted here, her lovely grey Siamese Rowley was diagnosed with kidney disease on Saturday. But evidently it hasn’t gotten too bad yet, and the vet says he’ll definitely get some weight back with a low-protein diet and subcutaneous fluids, and it might even cure him. So we’re very glad we took him in. (He’d been gradually but very steadily been losing weight over six months or so.)
- Everything else is good, starting with a lovely visit to see eisa in New York City a couple weekends ago, which involved good food (as always) and meeting a couple of her friends. It also involved getting introduced to a new TV show (on DVD), whereon more later.
- Mare and I saw Theatre@First’s production of The Winter’s Tale, excellently directed by dietrich. Loved the staging, loved the somewhat quirky play, loved the performance. Congratulations to all!
- The news from the vet was not good, but it was great to be there for plumtreeblossom and Rowley, and I’m really glad we got him to the vet. And that morning plumtreeblossom cooked me banana pancakes and bacon. She must love me!
- Besides The Winter’s Tale, I’ve been enjoying a lot of classic or retro movies and literature:
- On the bus on the way to New York, I finished the utterly bizarre Edison’s Conquest of Mars (Wikipedia; Gutenberg). This was written as an unauthorized sequel to The War of the Worlds during Edison’s lifetime, and it reads like bad fanfic by an Edison groupie. I sort of wonder whether Edison secretly commissioned it. It’s full of paeans to the genius of the scientists of the era (namedropping several of them, notably Lord Kelvin), especially the great Edison himself, and has lots of pageantry, with lavish balls attended by the crowned heads of Europe (and Asia and Africa, whose crowned heads are portrayed as rather empty). The technology invented in the book is pretty interesting: Edison invents antigravity and disintegrator rays, but there’s nothing like radio, so spaceships communicate through semaphore. Utterly worthless as literature, but very amusing to read.
- Preparatory to starting Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I read Pride and Prejudice, and enjoyed it quite a bit. The funnier bits reminded me a little of Saki.
- plumtreeblossom and I watched a DVD she bought of a 1964 adaptation of The First Men in the Moon, which we both enjoyed a lot. The special effects were very good for 1964 (just five years before the actual first men in the moon), and I enjoyed the films gimmick of framing Wells’ story (set at the turn of the 20th century) as a flashback after modern (1960s) astronauts discover to their surprise evidence that they are not, in fact, the first men in the moon.
- The TV show eisa introduced me to was Mad Men, which is retro in a different sort of way. At dinner tonight somebody asked me what I liked about Mad Menand since we had just been talking about Star Trek, I explained it like this: Star Trek (the original series) was made in the mid-60s, and it’s about mid-’60s Americans exploring the galaxy in the far future, taking their postwar American optimism and their postwar American notions of right and wrong and gender and race and politics to other planets and fixing the postwar American problems they find there. It’s pretty well done, but as is true of most science fiction it’s better at imagining future technology than at imagining future societies and cultures. Mad Men, made now, is set in the late ’50s or early ’60s, and while it’s fiction, it shows just how much culture changes in less than a lifetime. I’m looking forward to watching more. (Coincidentally, plumtreeblossom got hooked on it recently, too, so I have a local source to borrow the DVDs.)
- And it’s not historical or retro, but I also watched a weird French movie called La Moustache. I guess you’d call it a psychological thriller. It starts with a man shaving off his mustache on a whim, to discover that nobody notices. Moreover, his wife and friends insist he’s never had a mustache (at least not for years). It’s not Donnie Darko or Eraserhead, but it’s pretty weird. And the Philip Glass score is perfect for it.
’E’s not dead, ’e’s just pining for the fjords.
I’ve put photos from yesterday’s tour of the Simpson Spring plant up on Flickr.
(Only about half the photos are in thumbnails here, so you may want to go check out the set on Flickr.)…
PMRP’s “Ghost Hunt” (selected photos), a set on Flickr.