Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Disorganized The Cape Review

My big plans of getting the office (and the rest of the house) organized haven't amounted to much so far. I did start cleaning out my e-mail in boxes yesterday. My goal for the week is to get both my public and my personal in boxes down to fewer than 1,000 messages each. Yes, my e-mail really is that out of control. I started with actually reading and dealing with each message, but then burned out on that and started going to random parts of the message list and deleting the things I know are clutter or which are no longer relevant. Part of my problem is that I tend to just read the messages I know I need to deal with, which leaves the clutter lying around unread. I should delete those right away. The other problem is that I've discovered that if I delete a message upon reading it, if a new message has come in while I was reading that message, it's the next message down that gets deleted. I lost some important messages that way. Instead I have to read the message, close it, then click the little box next to it and hit delete. Which means I tend to let them pile up before deleting a bunch all at once.

One of my life decluttering choices that I've made recently will help with that. I let my membership in a local writing group that I've belonged to for nearly 20 years lapse. I hadn't gone to but one or two meetings a year for the past few years and I seldom got around to reading the newsletter. I seemed to have been dropped off the invitation list for some public events that group has been associated with that involve published authors. I haven't saved a lot of money, but I have saved myself the nagging "maybe I should go to the meeting this month" guilt and I no longer have to worry about the group's e-mail lists (which had amounted mostly to announcements of other groups' online classes and "I blogged on this topic today" posts) adding to the clutter in my in box.

Next, maybe I'll develop the energy and enthusiasm to start tackling the paper clutter.

I caught the repeat of the premiere of the new series The Cape last night, and I'm firmly in the land of "so so." The main reason I watched was the presence of Keith David. I'd turn on the "Keith David Reads the Phone Book" show to use as background noise. I've watched History Channel documentaries on subjects I don't care about so I could listen to his narration. So, even if the show sucks, I wouldn't mind tuning it out other than hearing that voice, and it's a bonus to get to see him actually playing a character instead of talking about the Black Death or the Crusades. I liked the pilot episode better than the second one, and I think that's because the second one focused more on the main character than on the world building, and the world building is probably the best part of the series, while the main character is kind of dull.

The weird thing is, they've done a lot of the right things in creating this character. He had an inner drive before the story even kicked off. He now has a clear-cut goal and a strong motivation. He has values. He even has a hobby. Unfortunately, they all seem to be pretty much the same thing, which makes him very one-note. He's driven by a desire for justice and truth. He values justice and courage. His story goal is achieving justice. His hobby is training himself physically so he can seek justice. He's consistent, but not very interesting. There really should be at least one of these things that's out of whack to hint that there's more to him. Like, maybe he's into fine wines, music or flower arranging in addition to the physical training. He at least should have a quirky sense of humor, or maybe the crazy carnival gang (the absolute best part of the show -- I'd watch a series about them) could rub off on him more, or he could use his new carnival abilities for some fun instead of just seeking justice. Batman at least had the playboy billionaire alter ego to give him some depth aside from all the justice seeking.

The other weird thing is getting used to Summer Glau not being all that kickass. I suppose it's good for her to get to show off some range and play something other than an invincible killing machine, but it was disconcerting to see her losing a fight and needing to be rescued by the hero. I kept expecting her to kick the bad guy through the back wall or pick up a meat cleaver and come at him in a series of spinning and kicking moves so she could decapitate him. Her character is no wimp, but she doesn't seem to have serious fighting skills.

I'll give it at least one more episode, but if the main guy doesn't become more interesting very quickly, I may not be a regular viewer. However, the pilot did give me the best laugh of the day and deserves some credit for including the line "The raccoon acted alone." Unfortunately, that part was about the carnival crazies, not the main character.

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