January 4th, 2005

little review

Poem for Tuesday

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Kids back in school. Laundry done. Some small percentage of correspondence attended to. Latest on camera search: Abe's of Maine (from whom we have purchased binoculars in the past) has absolutely unbelievable prices on the Coolpix 3200 and 4100; the former gets slightly better reviews for its programming but the latter has more megapixels, and there's only a $25 difference, and they're both only a little over $150 (Office Depot online has the Coolpix 2200 for $99, but I'd rather pay $50 more for the additional megapixels). Tomorrow younger son has tooth extraction, so I am boring and domestic. It was 64 degrees today so it isn't as if I can complain about anything. And I wrote two drabbles:

lupin100: "Bane", for the first-time challenge.
snape100: "Calling the Wind", for the retro challenge (25th anniversary).

While folding the laundry I watched the Richard Loncraine-Ian McKellen production of Richard III, which was on cable. I had not seen it before though it has a great many things going for it -- like a 1930s setting with spooky fascist parallels, absolutely gorgeous costume design and Annette Bening as Queen Elizabeth in a wonderful performance; Maggie Smith, who plays the Duchess of York, is wonderful as well. Richard's character as written by Shakespeare is entirely over the top, with none of the subtlety of most of his heroes or even his most flagrant villains -- when Richard wants someone dead, he says so, and if the person to whom he is speaking doesn't say "Great idea, I'll do it right away," that person doesn't last long. McKellen (who co-wrote the screenplay) plays much of Richard's creepiness for laughs; he's not a hunchback here but has an arm apparently withered from polio, though he blames witchcraft. The script is tight and cuts quite a bit of Shakespeare's language but there's not a boring moment, and in a production with kinky sex, numerous murders, tanks and airplanes, endless conspiracies and Robert Downey Jr. as Rivers, it's very easy to follow the story and have fun watching.

Catching up with photos, here are some more from the National Museum of American History's transportation exhibits:


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