By Adrienne Rich
Living in the earth-deposits of our history
Today a backhoe divuled out of a crumbled flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
cure for fever or melancholy a tonic
for living on this earth in the winters of this climate
Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seemed she denied it to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil
She died a famous woman denying
her wounds came from the same source as her power
Have just spent the last several hours watching the Gladiator extended edition with the commentary track on so am not feeling all that chatty...it's an overwhelming amount of material to assimilate all at once, because the film itself is so gripping, and I don't know whether this is just my finicky DVD player but it was impossible to turn the subtitles off with the commentary on so I was hyper-aware of every spoken word in the film even while I was listening to Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott talk about it. There is information both fascinating and utterly trivial yet entertaining, some really nice stuff on Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris, Connie Nielsen and Djimon Hounsou ("Djimon like Simon" as Russell says, which is hepful to know) as well as some not-so-nice stuff on Oliver Reed which surprised me from a speak-no-evil-of-the-dead standpoint, especially since his heart attack during filming forced rewrites and changes to the planned ending of the movie that I think improved it greatly. I wondered how well I would find that the film had held up after the plethora of ancient epics that have come out in its wake, and even distracted by commentary it's still obviously so far above them that comparisons are ridiculous. I was sort of embarrassed for Ridley whenever Kingdom of Heaven came up in conversation.
My plan for Tuesday was always to pick up the DVD, though I had promised younger son that we would go to Best Buy again the next day so he could get Nintendogs, which was not scheduled for release until Wednesday. As it turns out, according to Circuit City, Nintendo does not care about street dates, so they sold it to us Tuesday and my kids were very happy in the late afternoon after I dragged them around doing chores! Before that, we all met vertigo66 and her brood for lunch at a pizza and pasta buffet, and afterward I came home and wrote up two interesting audio interviews -- one with Dominic Keating and the other with Ira Steven Behr, once of DS9 and now of The 4400, who was particularly interesting.
Then, while I was trying to get offline and get ready for dinner, we got about five e-mails saying that Brock Peters (who played Sisko's father) had died. I stupidly failed to get offline the second the notes arrived, but asked my editor whether the story could wait till tomorrow, and he said that if people were sending it in then it should probably go up ASAP. So I rushed off an article in about fifteen minutes (ldybastet can testify to this as I was talking to her at the time) and posted it, then went to dinner, thinking I had done my duty for the site.
I got back from dinner to find that I'd made two errors in the article -- one very minor, one big and glaring (wrong character in the headline). When I looked at the bulletin board comments, I discovered that instead of correcting these errors or at least sending me a "hey, I noticed something you might want to fix" note, one of my co-workers had joined in the "ooh there are MISTAKES in this article!" comments. What is the point of even pretending to try to act like a professional and get the news posted in a timely manner if the people I work with would rather hang out with their adolescent friends jeering about screwups rather than fixing them? If we're not professional enough to catch mistakes we notice in one another's work, then we're certainly not professional enough to need news covered as it's breaking. I am never again volunteering to be late for my family's dinner in the name of the site.
In happier news I am now the proud owner of The January Man for a mere $2.99 so I can indulge my Alan Rickman fetish to my heart's content as soon as I get done squeeing over the Gladiator extras. I have a pass to see James Purefoy in HBO's Rome miniseries in its DC-area debut on the big screen, but I don't think I can get my mother to babysit, as she is watching the kids tomorrow afternoon while I am at the dentist and then leaving Friday to visit my sister in her new house, so I guess I will wait and watch Rome on cable!
Reptiles are not my strong suit so please bear with me. I believe these are Egyptian tortoises...
...and I believe that these are leopard tortoises, but I will be very embarrassed if I have them backward.
Never smile at a...alligator?
Another Slytherin for my collection. This one unfortunately was in the venomous snake exhibit.
And its companion. Is this an anaconda? I need my son awake, he would know!