The early part of the week was mostly spent in a sleep-deprived fog, as I was far from caught up after not sleeping while Chad was away. On Wednesday I did get the decision in the case that I'd compared 490 documents for, last Friday; much faster than I'd expected, obviously, but I always take a win.
Thursday did not start out well; another goddamn many-legged crawly thing, in what was going to be my cereal bowl, and then a visit to the dentist. My current dentist is very good, but when one already has jaw problems, even the best dentist in the world can't make a filling replacement feel good—since it involves having one's mouth held open for half an hour. Eating hurt for the next two days.
The day got considerably better when work let out early; I came home and stretched out in the sun-dappled shade with a Brust novel. Most relaxing. Watched and enjoyed The Bourne Identity that night, slept late the next morning, stretched out in the shade again with another Brust novel, and then went out to see The Italian Job.
Weekend took a bit of a downward turn when I felt inexplicably lousy after the movie and for most of Saturday. This was not helped by rotten insomnia the night before, even though I slept very late in the morning (through Chad power-sawing and hammering downstairs). I worked on our built-in bookcases yesterday afternoon, using a first coat of a "natural" stain to seal the pine. I managed to work myself into rather a state: it was really hot in the room with all the windows open, yet still insufficiently ventilated (though I didn't realize it until I was done), and the stain picked up all the spots where the paint had not, after all, been sufficiently stripped, so it looked, to my overwrought sight, quite terrible.
I went out in the backyard to just lie still and breathe after I'd finished, and felt much better for it. Today I went back to basics, taking out the power sander and Dremel tool and really focusing on those last bits of paint. I note for the record that, to my surprise, higher-grit sandpaper actually does a better job of taking out paint in the grain than the coarse stuff that's always recommended for stripping. And have I mentioned that I really love my Dremel tool? There will still be some paint that I can't get at without dismantling the shelves completely, but Chad got a gel stain that's supposed to cover paint to some degree. Anyway, I feel a lot better about it. Chad also replaced the back screen door and did a fair bit of work toward replacing the broken downstairs bathroom door, with help from his folks. As a colleague of Chad's said, home ownership isn't so much a state as a hobby.
Of course, the problem with power tools is that they require a high degree of concentration, and you end up exhausted without realizing it. And I woke up at 4:45 this morning and basically stayed awake until 7:30 or so. Another weekend goes by and the book log continues to languish for attention, the poor neglected thing . . .
Weekend movie roundup:
- The Bourne Identity. The interviews and such
included with the DVD make a big deal about how it's not your
typical action movie, which is crap. There's one plot detail that
avoids cliché, and a car chase scene where random cars appear
not to have TNT in their trunks—both of which are
refreshing—but it's unquestionably an action movie, sub-genre
spy/mystery. Matt Damon's character is found in the Mediterranean
with two bullets in his back, a Swiss bank number implanted in his
hip, and no memory of his identity. The Swiss vault contains six
passports with his picture, a gun, and a lot of cash; he appears to
have not read any spy novels before he fell overboard, since the
contents of the vault don't immediately scream "Special Operations"
to him. People are after him, there's a girl, you know the drill.
Competent and entertaining.
The ending is free of obvious sequel hooks, though it's my understanding that there's two more in the works (per Greg's Previews, formerly upcomingmovies.com).
The alternate ending is stupid, though not movie-destroying the way Ronin's was.
- The Italian Job (2003). I really have a weakness for caper movies, even fairly undistinguished ones like this remake. The whole movie was basically in the trailer, as I suspected (except the Ukrainian subplot), but what the heck, I enjoyed it anyway. Once again, the characters have a sad lack of knowledge of genre films, else they'd know better than to hire Edward Norton for a job. Revenge and a whole lot of gold, what else do you need for a movie?
- Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, special edition DVD. I wouldn't have believed this could be made any more silly, but it is. Worth the rental just for the "Subtitles for People Who Don't Like the Film," which are all eerily apropos quotes from Henry IV, part II. Don't miss the animated Lego version of the Camelot scene, and the documentary about the film's locations, on disc two. Perfectly, daftly brilliant.