August 18th, 2009

little review

Poem for Tuesday

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After an early-morning Uno tournament with younger son (which one of us lost embarrassingly -- oh wait, that would be me), I sent my kids off with my parents for four days in Virginia, where they are going to Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, Busch Gardens and the water park. This left me and Paul free to go out for Indian food, then I did some shopping and laundry (which I folded while watching Deep Space Nine's "Past Prologue," which I haven't seen in about ten years, and wow does that episode hold up in every conceivable way). So it wasn't a very exciting day for me but it was relatively peaceful. Every year the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair has a toilet decorating contest sponsored by a local plumbing and electrical company; I'm not sure any of this year's entry are better than the toilet that was fishing in its own bowl a couple of years ago, but here are some of them so you can judge for yourself:

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In the evening, since we didn't have to worry about the R rating, we watched Appaloosa. I'm really not a fan of Westerns, but I love two things about this one despite it having all the usual What It Means To Be A Man baggage and being largely predictable. One is that Ed Harris tells the story without all the gratuitous bloody action that even supposed purists like Clint Eastwood has thrown into many recent films; every shot involving violence was absolutely integral to the story. And the other is that Renee Zellwegger's Allie may be my favorite woman ever in a traditional Western -- oh, she's needy and weak and selfish, but that is very much true of the heroes as well, and there is no judgment of her sexuality besides the expected befuddlement of men who see women as exotic animals. Compared to, say, Christian Bale's character's wife in the way-too-bloody 3:10 to Yuma, or the cardboard-character rape victim in whichever Eastwood movie that was, Allie is wonderful.