Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend Viewing from the Sick Bed

It's a good thing I didn't have much in the way of plans for the weekend because I came down with a killer cold. It started with a tickle in the throat on Friday, and I thought it was just bad allergies, since the pollen count has been pretty astronomical lately. It was worse later in the day and really bad Saturday morning. By mid-afternoon Saturday, I finally realized that it was way more intense than any allergy attack I'd ever had, so I likely had a cold. It seems to be in the waning phases. I still feel like it would make everything better if I could just cut my nose off, but I don't have the miserably runny nose anymore. If I had a "real" job I'd probably call in sick because I'm too foggy to drive safely and I can't focus or concentrate for very long. Unfortunately, I don't really get sick days when I work for myself. I do still have deadlines on freelance projects and I desperately want to finish this book. I did find myself thinking about the book while I made breakfast, so I may try some brainstorming today and see if I can come up with ideas for the ending. I'm not sure I'm yet at the putting words together level. I don't see how all those drug-addict, alcoholic authors did it. A half teaspoon of Benadryl and I can't form a coherent sentence. How did some of these people write books while drunk or stoned?

Since I wasn't up to doing much of anything, I watched a lot of movies over the weekend. Finding the right entertainment when you're sick can be a challenge. I can't deal with anything too complex or that requires paying attention and noticing plot points. I also don't want anything too emotional -- when your nose is running off your face, the last thing you want is to cry so that it runs even worse. During the worst times, when the cold medicine had really kicked in, I resorted to re-watching TV shows OnDemand -- NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles are perfect for that. I reached the point where my appreciation for NCIS: LA amounted to "Hee, that lady is really small, and it's funny when she's with that really tall guy who's terrified of her!" I tried catching up with Stargate: Universe episodes OnDemand, since I've missed a few, and I ended up giving up mid-way through the first one I'd missed. I used to get a lot of enjoyment out of snarking about that show, but the same snark issues are still there, so I've already made all my points, and the snark enjoyment is now far outweighed by the sheer annoyance of the show itself. I don't care what happens to any of those people, and if I don't like any of the characters, there's no point in watching. I figure the earth is better off for having shipped them away to another galaxy, though having done so might count as a hostile act toward that other galaxy.

Lifetime obliged me by showing a weekend full of romantic comedies instead of their more usual "My husband is beating me, cheating on me and leading a secret life while I'm dying of a terrible illness and my child is missing" fare. I re-watched The Jane Austen Book Club on Saturday, which was interesting now that I've read the book. Then on Sunday there was Something to Talk About, a Julia Roberts movie from the mid-90s that I saw in the theater with some friends. I barely noticed the movie as I got lost in a surge of nostalgia for my twenties.

Courtesy of HBO, I did see a couple of new-to-me movies. There was Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, which was better than I thought it would be. It was an interesting concept, though I'm not sure about the execution. At his brother's wedding, a womanizing jerk gets the A Christmas Carol treatment as he's forced to revisit his past, especially the way he treated his childhood best friend/sweetheart, look at the way people in the present saw him and then look at his potential future. The "Ghost of Girlfriends Past" character -- a very Eighties teen with braces -- was a hoot and I loved the way they worked with the elements of the Dickens story in this new setting, but I couldn't really buy the ending. I suppose the rest of this is spoilery, but if you haven't already figured out exactly what happens based on that brief description, then let me be the first to extend you a warm welcome to our humble planet. In the Dickens story, people didn't immediately accept the changed Scrooge. His nephew had invited him over even before he changed, so he wasn't going out on a limb to accept him at Christmas, and the Cratchits were pretty much "Just nod and smile at the crazy man who has total power over us." It was only over time that Scrooge became like a second father to Tiny Tim and became a loved part of the family. But in this movie, everyone seems to just go with this sudden change from total jerk to nice, sensitive, caring guy. No guy has treated me nearly as badly as he treated his childhood sweetheart, and yet I wouldn't take any of my exes back even if they crawled over broken glass with roses in their teeth. It's not vindictiveness, it's moving on. It's over, and I have no interest in any of them anymore. I've never understood that thing that comes up in books and movies where there's that one guy from a woman's past who can make her drop everything for him, no matter how terribly he treated her before. A far more believable ending would have involved him realizing that changing didn't undo the consequences of his past behavior, so that he'd utterly ruined his chances with that one woman, but that he could make a fresh start with someone new. Or at the very most, the old girlfriend might have been willing to start from scratch, like they were strangers. A romantic happily ever after with them joyously reunited one day after he was a total jerk who nearly ruined his brother's wedding with his obnoxious behavior -- and her ditching the perfect man to do so -- just didn't work for me.

Then, was it Julia Roberts' birthday this weekend, or something? Because just about every channel seemed to have at least one Julia Roberts movie on. Some were doing marathons of her movies. I am not a big fan of Julia Roberts. There's something about her that just bugs me. But I did watch Duplicity on HBO because I like looking at Clive Owen. I think it might have been a fun movie if I'd been a little more coherent because it was a caper-type story, which I love, and was one of those things where you don't realize what's really going on until you get the full context, and there were lots of layers. It's impossible to describe or discuss in any depth without ruining the surprises, so I'll just say that it's about two rival spies who end up in the private sector working together in an industrial espionage project. Except that's not really what it's about.

Strangely, this movie made me want to remodel my kitchen. I've noticed that whenever a movie character is living in what is supposed to be a bland, generic apartment that symbolizes the fact that his life isn't where he wants it to be, the apartment has the exact same kitchen cabinets I have. Those cabinets made another appearance in this movie. They must have some seriously bad mojo. I wonder if my life would improve if I replaced them.

Finally, a couple of programming notes: Chuck is back with a new episode tonight, and we'll see if they are struck by the Moonlighting curse or if they can pull of a Nick and Nora vibe. Then on Wednesday, the Doctor and Captain Picard face off on PBS when they show the recent Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet, starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart. I imagine I'll end up having to buy the DVD because my local PBS station has this odd aversion to letterboxing in widescreen productions. They blow the picture out to full screen, so that the sides are cut off (even with a widescreen TV), and it's really obvious and annoying, especially when the shot is framed for widescreen and all you can see of the characters is their noses on either end of the screen.

And now I need more tea and a bit of a rest from thinking this hard.

1 comment:

littlehouseofpenguins said...

Sorry about your rough weekend! Whenever I've been too sick to really be able to follow a plot, I watch "Pride and Prejudice" again. For, like, the 4 millionth time. When I was in labor, my husband brought along some DVDs of Law & Order. That was way, way beyond my ability to concentrate. But I know P&P so well I can pretty much start anywhere and still enjoy it. I hope you're feeling better now!