Catching up . . . . On Tuesday the 1st of June, we went out for an anniversary dinner at the local fancy French place, recently renovated but still with the volumes of McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York on the shelves, which never fails to amuse me. Unfortunately neither the service nor my entree were as good as I would have liked, but Chad's meal was fine and it was a nice change of pace.
That Thursday, Chad had some of his advisees over for dinner, which was fun though you'd never have though that people could talk about The Family Guy for so long. The tree people had come that day and ground out the stumps of the trees they took out (the yard looks much nicer now), so unfortunately there were many wood chips lying around for the dog to eat, despite our best efforts to stop her. Sure enough, she was sick the next morning. It would be really nice if she had a better ability to grasp causal connections.
On Saturday, Chad played hoop and I went to cheer him on. We went out for dinner after, to a place called Auberge Suisse that I'd seen recommended for its fondue. This was an extremely strange experience: there was one other couple in the restaurant when we came in, and after they left it was just us, the hostess/server, and an unseen person or persons in the kitchen. The food was perfectly good; I suspect the location, out in what looks like old-money suburbia, works against it.
We went to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Sunday. I loved the landscape and the look of the film, especially the way clocks, time (including A Brief History thereof) and mirrors pulled it together. I didn't like the look of the Dementors ( "crepe-draped basketballs"), the werewolf, or Sirius's dog form; I thought that Thewlis and Oldman did very well with their human components, however. I also liked new!Dumbledore: New-Agey though he might be, he was much less wheezy and therefore more plausibly powerful.
As for other characters—I thought all the kids were much better actors this movie. (I especially liked "You tell those spiders, Ron.") Ron's mugging was toned down, but he was relegated to strictly comic relief; on the flip side, I thought Hermione was far too powerful and perfect. It unbalanced the friendships, and will especially be a problem with Goblet of Fire—why would Harry miss Ron most at this rate? Similarly, I thought the movie made Snape too nice by leaving out his splitted-flecked ranting; I think that and the better treatment of Neville (Harry doesn't use his name on the Knight Bus; the written-down passwords is taken out) are clearly influenced by revelations of subsequent books, but with Snape the omissions pull too far away—and I think may have confused some people by dumping all the backstory of that generation.
Overall, though, I quite enjoyed it, much more than the other two; it felt like an actual movie rather than a random assemblage of scenes.
Also, the Fifteen Minutes version is worth reading. I particuarly liked "HP FANS: OMGWTF THAT WAS RON'S LINE! YOU CHANGED THINGS FROM THE BOOK!" "LOTR FANS: What are you, new?"
The next week was fairly uneventful; I had Friday the 11th off, as the State closed for Reagan's funeral, but came into work anyway because I'm a touch swamped at the moment. The weekend was more interesting, as I went out to Massachusetts because one of my friends from high school, now on the West Coast, was in town. Met the new baby, the first of our group, who is absolutely adorable—smiling all the time at three months—caught up with my friends, and spent some time with Mom and Dad, which was all good. I'd been hoping to met someone else, my (adoptive) brother's biological half-brother, who came very unexpectedly into our lives the week before, but because of logisticial issues, that didn't work out.
Last Tuesday, Chad's parents came down and we had a nice dinner to celebrate Chad's birthday early. I took Friday off and we went down to New York City for the weekend—tune in tomorrow for the details.