Locations of this week's painful, itchy, and swollen insect bites:
- The cartilaginous rim of my ear (unknown source).
- My ankle, shin, and knee (a three-fer, probably from a spider).
- The inside corner of my eye, just above the tear duct (small black fly).
And that was all before doing yardwork today (five mosquito bites in about ten minutes of pulling up dandelions in the back yard).
I want to join the Culture and change my body chemistry enough that biting insects no longer find me appealing.
Saw the Pirates movie yesterday. It's my impression that the critics were mostly "Enh" and the public was mostly "Yay!" I'm afraid that I'm mostly on the side of the critics for this one.
While I enjoyed the original more than I expected to, I noticed that it did not hold up well on subsequent viewings: it was much too long and Orlando Bloom expressed all emotion by wrinkling his brow.
Orlando Bloom was less immediately annoying in this one (though Will Turner is much too trusting), but Jack Sparrow was considerably less fun. Which, yes, is the point—character arc and all, which to be fair is more than I expected out of this—but it was far, far too long for me to sit through without Captain Jack Sparrow to amuse me. The cannibal sequence is particularly bad—not only does it uncritically pass along a harmful racial stereotype, but it does so in a way that completely and utterly fails to advance the overall plot!—but even scenes that played a purpose went on for just long enough for me to be thinking, "Okay, move on, already." Especially since this is not a series that benefits by giving the viewer time to think. (I hate the attempt at a romantic triangle, but even the way I see it isn't any better; it reads to me like Elizabeth's not-so-latent pirate inclinations are getting her confused between attraction to and admiration for the quintessential pirate, but that leads back to the whole problem that there's no socially-accepted role for her to indulge those tendencies in, and, anyway, pirates are not actually admirable, and various other socially and emotionally realistic considerations that just can't breathe the same air as the movie.)
That said, Norrington all scruffy and ruthless was entertaining, and I liked the combination of the Flying Dutchman and Davy Jones' locker. Of course we'll see the third, just because, but since there's absolutely no incentive for the filmmakers to exercise any more story discipline next time, you'll almost certainly be seeing the same rant from me in a year or so.
The hardest I laughed at the theater was actually for a trailer. It opened by stating that we were "told" that the Mars Beagle was lost in 2003, but its last transmission was classified Top Secret, and "it was the only warning we had." Ominous music, blurred shot of something over the Beagle, and then a view of Earth being slowly occluded by something that turned out to be the movie title.
Which was . . .
Laughed harder than at any time thereafter.
Finally, Movable Type 3.3 is out, and while I haven't installed it yet, I intend to. With this upgrade, it now natively supports tags along with categories, and I'd like some feedback from readers, librarians, and others with organizational tendencies.
Right now, I have the booklog set up so that every book is in a categeory according to genre and, where appropriate, subgenre and series. There are index pages for each category and subcategory, with books listed in alphabetical order by author, so they can be browsed (plus pages covering various time periods). There is also a search function.
I'd briefly toyed with the idea of also setting up category pages by author, but put it aside: it was technically fiddly, it would have meant a shitload of categories, and I wasn't sure of the utility. It occurs to me that tags might be the way to do author categorization; would anyone expect to use that? Has anyone confronted these same challenges elsewhere, with what conclusions? Can anyone think of other interesting or useful things to do with tags for a booklog?