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26 March 2007 — Birthday Weekend (11)

It was a quiet, low-key weekend at Rosings Park. I turned 38. We celebrated by being frugal, and by loafing around the house.

On Friday night, Tiffany joined us for dinner. We made meatloaf using beef that we purchased in bulk last fall. With our meal, we drank a $3 bottle of wine. After dinner, Tiff and Kris sipped tea. I played Wii. (Kris and I have been playing a lot of Wii lately, actually.)

On Saturday we spent time in the yard. Kris worked on her flower gardens while I weeded the lawn with my weed-popper. I went for a walk. While walking, I listened to The Secret, which is a maddening book. It purports to share the important truth that great minds throughout the centuries have known: The Law of Attraction. It dresses this garbage up in pseudoscience. There's some valuable stuff here about positive thinking and setting goals, but the core of the book — The Law of Attraction — is pretty much just bunk.

On Saturday night, we went out. We stopped at Powell's for a while, where I drooled over their notebook selection. I exercised restraint and only bought one: an amazing book with 100 tiny little lines and about 20 columns. I have no idea what it's supposed to be used for, but I love it.

"You know," I told Kris. "I just had another great idea for a weblog."

She groaned. I'm always having great ideas for a weblog. (I haven't even told y'all about my million-dollar idea, but that's because I need to register the domains.) "You don't need another weblog," she said.

"This one's easy," I said. "It's all about notebooks. I'll only post to it a few times a year. Whenever I find a good notebook, I'll buy it and post it to the blog." I paused. "I even have a great name for it! I can call it Spiral Bound."

Yes, dear readers, I have registered spiralbound.org, and soon I will have a notebook blog. I can sense you all simultaneously laughing and crying, but I don't care. The Foldedspace Blogging Empire will be triumphant!

After my notebook epiphany, we went across the street to the Bagdad Theater to catch a 7:50 showing of Children of Men. "Is this line for the movie?" Kris wondered aloud. People were stretched down the block. We were amazed. Admittedly we don't go to the Bagdad often, but we've never seen a line before. Usually we walk right up, pay our three bucks, grab some pizza, and head to our seats. Not this time. This time there was a wait.

There was a longer line for food. "Yikes," I said. Kris went inside to save seats. I was only halfway through the line when the film started, so I gave up. I went to stand in the entrance while waiting for the line to end. I watched the first 20 or 25 minutes of the film standing up, missed a few minutes, then had a seat.

Children of Men is a bleak and interesting film. It's from the same genre as THX-1138, which I reviewed last week, though it's of a much different style. It is amazingly well made. Midway through I leaned over to Kris and whispered, "This film scares the shit out of me." And it did.

Children of Men posits a near future in which the entire human race has gone infertile. It's 2027 (or thereabouts) and the last child was born in 2009. The world has descended into chaos. Countries have been nuked. Terrorism is rampant. The human race is dying out. For some reason, England is the last bastion of civilization. There's a huge illegal immigrant problem. (Why? Is it because England is the last bastion of civilization? I'm not quite clear on that.) Why is the human race dying? Is there hope for the future? That's what this film's about.

I liked it. I felt it lacked something at first, but the past 48 hours have only improved the film in my mind. In fact, I intend to purchase it tomorrow to add to my science fiction library. I'll probably watch it again before this weekend, taking care to analyze things.

(It was only later that I realized why I found the film so frightening. I believe that many of the scenes were filmed in one take. Looking back, for example, I cannot remember a cut during two scenes: the motorcycle attack and the escape from the farm. I think these are filmed all in one take, and that adds a huge visceral element to the film.)

On Sunday, we lazed around the house. Kris baked me birthday cookies. I mowed the lawn — or half of it. During the mid-afternoon I became nauseated and had to halt my mowing. (I hope I can finish today.) Instead, I wrote. I got a lot of writing done.

Also this weekend, I spent some time working on a list of goals. I hope to share that list sometime later this week...

In all, this was a fantastic birthday weekend. It was relaxing. It was productive. It was fun.

On this day at foldedspace.org

2006I Am So Many!   In which I turn thirty-seven, and throw a poetry party to celebrate.


Comments
On 26 March 2007 (11:19 AM), Amy Jo said:

It sounds like you had a great weekend. I'm glad to hear it. Our weekend was a bit more hectic--why is that preparing for vacation is so darn hard?


On 26 March 2007 (12:18 PM), Kris Becker said:

Happy Birthday, JD!

I share your attraction to notebooks (okay, maybe mine is not quite as strong as yours) and look forward to recommendations via spiralbound.org!


On 26 March 2007 (12:25 PM), Paul J. said:

J.D.,

Another scene that was filmed in one take was the battle scene near the end. I had heard about this scene before seeing the movie but forgot about it until afterwards. It's amazing how tense these scenes are with just one take. I guess we don't realize that edits let us off the hook emotionally.


On 26 March 2007 (03:29 PM), Robin said:

Happy Birthday, JD. Did you add and then promptly cross off "create notebook blog" to your 101 in 1001 list? ;-)


On 26 March 2007 (03:57 PM), Drew said:

Happy Birthday, Blogmeister!


On 26 March 2007 (04:35 PM), Nikchick said:

Would you believe that I remembered your birthday for years after learning it in high school? Now that we're pushing 40 I hope you can forgive me for giving that brain space over to some other use (though, apparently, I'm still not devoting enough brain space to remembering that I put my coffee in the microwave).

I had someone throw the Law of Attraction thing in my face recently, before hearing that it came from The Secret. Basically, her bitchy e-mails (that were read and perceived as bitchy by three different people) were not *actually* bitchy... it's the Law of Attraction and my own insecurities that cause me to *think* they're bitchy when they're really perfectly neutral. I'm attracting bitchiness (and so are my two colleagues). Apparently I'm also fat NOT because I eat too much and exercise too little but because I see fat people all around me, let them associate with me, and "attract" fat to myself in the process. BAH, I say.

Loved Children of Men, too. That last long scene that Paul mentions is one that really stuck with me. I really loved the way the whole film was shot. Chris praised it for being a science fiction movie that didn't rely on flashy computer-generated effects to carry it. I liked that about it, too. This generation's Blade Runner?


On 26 March 2007 (04:51 PM), J.D. said:

D'oh!

I forgot about V for Vendetta. I tried to watch it on Sunday, but just gave up. It's of similar bent as THX-1138 and Children of Men, but owns no redeeming features (outside of Natalie Portmand, whom I will grant is very redeeming). The story and direction were pedestrian at best. The film wasn't bad, but I could not justify wasting ninety more minutes of my time to finish it. It wasn't "value-added" life, if you know what I mean. Children of Men? Absolutely. Well-made. It had its problems, but I didn't feel like I was wasting my time watching it...


On 26 March 2007 (08:31 PM), Lisa said:

Many (belated) happy returns of the day. And such.


On 27 March 2007 (05:32 AM), Cap said:

Happy 38, sir :)

Borrowed "The Secret" dvd from a friend, watched it for a few minutes and promptly turned it off.

If you can keep to your ideal of a few post a year, I'm sure Spiral Bound would be a great addition to the empire. Awhile back, I registered yummycereals.com so I can start another blog (yes, about cereals) but yeah.. do I really need to add another blog to my schedule?

The influx of illegal immigrant (or rather, refugees) is probably because living everywhere else is just not possible. But yeah, I really enjoyed the movie too. The sporadic but realistic violence (to me anyway) really scared the crap out of me. It appears the film is really gaining a fan base too, seeing as how the wiki article is getting longer in length (and even the book article contains many more new information). The film, along with V for Vendetta, was on my must watch list for 06.

Still haven't gotten around on seeing V for Vendetta though (apparently it's above average but not great). I read the graphic novel when in 10th grade (blew me away); along with Watchmen, they're some of the best graphic novels I've read in my lifetime. Because of them, my trigonometry class was superbly enjoyable.


On 27 March 2007 (06:57 AM), tim said:

As a fellow lover of notebooks and journals, I think spiralbound is a fantastic idea (I'm sorry Kris!). If you haven't seen it, you should check out The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company (I blogged about them this morning, but wasn't sure I could post a link in comments). It's a pretty interesting idea and the journals they're making look fairly nice. Oh, and happy birthday.


On 31 March 2007 (03:18 PM), Alan Bluehole said:

Happy 38th Birthday to us.