Friday, June 10, 2005

Mini-snapshot for Friday, 10 June 2005

I am currently reading:
- Helliconia Spring (still - may never finish it...)
- Ian Frazier's fascinating article for The New Yorker from back in April which detailed the history of the Mongol destruction of Baghdad in 1258. Some interesting parallels to what's going on now. Plus, lots of fascinating details on the Mongols.
- I just started reading Saboteurs : The Nazi Raid on America, by Michael Dobbs. A very interesting short work of non-fiction. Details the bizarre Nazi saboteur raid of 1942, the hunt for the German saboteurs, and the judicial case that was brought against them (after capture)(which is relevant today, as it is the legal underpinning for the use of military tribunals to try the detainees at Guantanamo Bay).

I have recently seen:
- The latest Miyazaki anime film Howl's Moving Castle. Meh. I thought it was interesting and (as usual) visually stimulating, but...it lacks a plot that makes much sense. It isn't Spirited Away. Heck...I don't think it's even on the level of Princess Mononoke. It isn't bad, just not great.
- The Virgin Suicides - very good film. Sophia Copolla's effort prior to Lost in Translation, a film that has a number of stylistic similarities. Kept my interest.
- Tin Men - good, not great movie. Barry Levinson's 1989 follow-up to Diner, also set in Baltimore. Centers around the activities of two borderline-crooks who are selling aluminum siding to Baltimore customers in the early-60's. An interesting look at people, some great dialogue. Pretty good plot. But left me cold for some reason. *shrug*

I am listening to:
- The Penguin Cafe Orchestra
- Fountains of Wayne (specifically, their new single, "Maureen")
- Tom Waits

I am wishing:
- that the air conditioning at my place was working - we just turned it on last night, only to discover that it appears to be bustido. Had to call the landlord. Looks like it's going to be a hot weekend in Columbia Heights.
- a happy 60th birthday to my mother's husband, WPM. :-)
- that everybody has an awesome weekend - first drink's on me!

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