And September begins -- 09/01/04

September 1st.

Welcome to a whole new month...

It really does still seem like summer outside (and, if I look at the calendar, I can indeed see that calendrical autumn is still three weeks away).

If I had found the time to write an entry yesterday morning I was going to title it "A dark and stormy day" [yes, thinking of Snoopy's novels that always began "It was a dark and stormy night" -- just as did Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's novel, which gave rise to the annual Bulwer-Lytton writing contest, in which contestants attempt to write the most outrageously bad (and flowery) opening lines for a novel.] -- But then the rain stopped and the sun came out. Then later it rained again. Then the sun came back out. Humid. Warm and very humid.

Not autumnal at all.

I've received a few comments related to the pictures of our wedding I had posted back in June and the series of entries about our subsequent trip to England (which I concluded on Monday).

Stephani said "Thanks for the flashback to the 70s too - the hair, the clothes." Ah, yes... I had chuckled a bit looking at the baggy lower legs on my jeans in some pictures taken at Stonehenge. Not quite late-60's bell bottoms, but still much wider and flappier than more recent fashion would prescribe.

And then Bozoette Mary added "Wow -- I dug the powder blue suit, Jim!" Yeah, it was very 1979. (But, Mary, look at this picture.)

Having met with a few other NaNoWriMo survivors (and a couple of winners, too!) at JournalCon, I'm thinking about trying it again this year. I'm not sure... I know now from painful experience just how much time that activity takes.... and just how little "spare" time I have during any given week. Maybe if I can sketch things out ahead of time (think up names for characters and streets and draw little maps, etc.) because that kind of thing would (foolishly) bring me up short -- perhaps because I have written so many technical books in the past few years, I seemed to need "factual" details readily at hand.

Bozoette Mary wrote her novel Girl Clown during NaNoWriMo -- and today's mail brought the copy I ordered. I've forced myself to put it away -- I've got tons of stuff to do and I still have good sized chunk of Neal Stephenson's The Confusion (the second of three books in his Baroque Cycle) left to read (which I think I will do as soon as I FTP this to the Web).

Micro-mini reviews --
  • Rented Cold Mountain Saturday night -- not bad -- I began to lose interest after about fifteen or twenty minutes, but then it seemed to pick up. Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger... yes, of course it's a chick-flick... but it is entertaining (despite some holes in the plot big enough for a Confederate cavalry charge) and Zellweger is very good.
  • Went to see Hero in the theatre on Monday night. If you have seen five star reviews and wondered about that, Jet Li in a five star movie? Well, the reviews are right. (Except for those critics who got carried away and said it is better than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- I think Crouching Tiger remains the better film.) The cinematography is awesome -- slow motion close-ups of drops of rain falling, being sliced by sword blades... the scene in the rain is exquisite, the duel on the lake is like a ballet, and sword fight between Maggie Cheung and Ziyi Zhang amidst the wind-blown autumn leaves is stunning. The plot device of showing the same events as told by different characters is an entertaining Chinese nod to Kurosawa's Rashomon. (And I decided I need to see if about renting a copy of Rashomon when I found out my daughter knew nothing about it. Yeah, okay, so it's a 1950 movie, but...)

In celebration of the summer now nearing its end, how about a bit of summer poetry...

William Shakespeare
Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

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