It's later in the day but it's still Wednesday. What's been on my radar this week? Glad you asked.
The Book: I tried but failed to get through The Cold War: A History by Martin Walker before I had to return it to the library today. It's a really dense read, but still somehow readable thanks to the straightforward prose. It's my first foray into the history of the Cold War, a subject I find really fascinating but something I never learned about enough in school. So I'm going to take it out again and try to finish it. After all, I lived through the end without understanding what was going on; I'd like to revisit it knowing a little more about life.
The DVD: I caught Dog Day Afternoon for the first time this weekend. Oh wow, it's so good. High-tension drama with a real emotional core, as Al Pacino tries to deal with a bank hold-up gone wrong. Yeah, Pacino screams a lot, but in this movie it's absolutely necessary at times. And the supporting cast is amazing, John Cazale and Christ Sarandon in particular. Director Sidney Lumet really grounds you in the scenes while allowing the actors to do amazing work. Much better than I was expecting, and I was expecting pretty good things.
The TV Show: I caught the first episode of The Border, which is a show about The Canadian Immigration and Customs Security Squad. The trailers make it look really slick and it's certainly a novel idea. I was really intrigued by the storytelling possibilities, but I found the first episode fell really flat: the dialogue was clunky and stilted at many times throughout the show, and there was WAY too much hand-held camera work. I know that "shaky-cam" has become shorthand for "cop show", but it's often not necessary, and in The Border, it was really distracting. I'm willing to give it another shot, as the next few episodes have a lot more potential (dealing with Canadian-American relations), but I have much lower expectations.
The Video Game: After the fiasco that was Harvey Birdman, I decided to go old-school and download Super Mario Bros. 3 for the Wii Virtual Console. I played through the first level last night with The Peach watching, hoping that she'd get interested in it. As it was, she just got more depressed about not being able to play her Game Boy games, and went online to look for an A.C. adaptor. So, mission half-accomplished. The game's still great, but the display's a little wonky: there's a line of pixels on either side of the screen that don't match the rest of the background. It's a picky complaint, I know, but it's also really annoying. Still: Super Mario Equals Super Fun!
The Food: Avocados. Seriously, if you told eight-year old me that I would eventually love avocadoes, I would have thought you were an idiot. But this weekend I've made guacamole and a delicious avocado-shrimp salad, and had sliced avocados on a BLT. Avocados: I've come around on them. Add them to the list of "foods you hate when you're a kid but like when you're an adult", along with brussels sprouts and dark chocolate.
The Real-Life: It's been UNBEARABLY cold here! Minus 43 degrees overnight at times, which for you Americans, is almost exactly the same in Farenheit as Celcius. It was so cold that my car refused to start after Kow practice on Monday night, which blocked Jago's car and thus necessetated his taking a bus to work the next day. I finally got it out thanks to the help of a few of my friends, which is a lucky thing because the A.M.A. was so backed up in the city that they had a more than 24-hour wait time for non-emergencies, and a 12-hour wait time for actual emergencies. It was a little warmer today, but still really cold, and it's a good time to stick around inside and keep warm. Which you kind of have to do when you're waiting a day for a tow truck.
That's my week in three or four nutshells. How's everyone else doing?