Nothing like forgetting to set your alarm to start the day off with a jolt of adrenaline.  I woke up this morning, lazily glanced at the clock to see how much time I had left, and shot out of bed after seeing it was 8:33.  I left the apartment at 8:43 and got to work only 10 minutes late, but somehow that’s just enough to set the whole morning on edge.

Nasty Monday mornings aside, things have been going more smoothly of late.  The weekend was immensely productive and a lot of fun to boot.  I trekked off to the Langdon farm to shuck corn, shell peas, watch The Twilight Zone, and shoot their new rifle, a 1936 Mosin Nagant.  Pretty excellent day, and the company couldn’t be beat.

I had a BLAST on Tuesday for the Star Trek: TNG screening.  I went with a couple of friends, one of whom was also dressed in costume as Troi (season three to my season one), and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in spite of some glitches with the streaming.  The feature didn’t start until almost half an hour late; at one point when the show looked like it was finally going to start and then crushed our hopes by diving into the looped commercials again, some guy in the back yelled, “KHAAAAAN!”  Everyone was really nice about the delay, and we had a good time eavesdropping on all of the geeky conversations around us.  The episodes themselves looked great, once we finally got to see them.  The crew had obviously put a tremendous amount of effort into restoring them, and the result was beautiful.  I understand why they chose Where No Man Has Gone Before and Datalore to show: both demonstrated the visual effects nicely.  Not the best episodes of season one, though.  Going in costume turned out to be so much fun, though I did have to lower the seat in my car to accommodate my ‘doFaith (my fellow Troi) and I got lots of compliments, and I don’t think I’ve ever had so many thumbs-up from middle-aged guys before.  As we were leaving after the showing, some guy ran after us asking to get a picture taken with us, which led to an entire scifi club asking for photos.  That’s probably the closest I’ll ever come to feeling like a celebrity. : )

Take a look:

Movies:

Star Trek:

I read Troubleshooter and The Riders of High Rock, both Hopalong Cassidy novels by Louis L’Amour.  This is the last of L’Amour for a while, I promise you.  In general I prefer L’Amour’s original characters; Hopalong Cassidy was created by another writer, Clarence Mulford, in 1904.  He wrote a slew of short stories and 28 novels about Hopalong, and Hollywood made 66 movies featuring the character.  L’Amour wrote four Hopalong books under the pen name Tex Burns, but denied that he had done so until his death.  Evidently he wrote them for the money (the publisher wanted to cash in on the fame of the character), and he bitterly regretted it and didn’t view the books as being truly his.  His son made the decision to publish the books under his father’s name after reading one and deciding it wasn’t half bad.  Wonder how L.L. would’ve felt about that.  These two books were enjoyable more because of my life at the moment than because of any literary genius they possess.  When you’re dealing with a lot of complicated, angst-ridden issues in reality, reading about straight-forward problems you can solve with a six-shooter suddenly becomes terribly appealing.  And L’Amour does have some good one-liners.

I’ve never read any Marcel Proust, which is sort of the English major equivalent of a hipster not having heard The Smiths, so I decided to give Swann’s Way (part one of Remembrance of Things Past) a shot.  I don’t often give up on books I’ve started.  There are probably half a dozen books I’ve abandoned unfinished in the past ten years.  Swann’s Way is now firmly on that list.  It wasn’t horribly written or full of heinous immorality; it was just astoundingly dull.  I only made it through maybe 60 pages, and nothing whatsoever had occurred by that point.  The protagonist (can I call a character that if they never act?) regales the reader with an interminable and disjointed string of maudlin memories and angst-ridden reflections.  The narrator is manipulative, wildly emotional, passive, and introspective to the point of paralysis; I freely admit that my own dislike for these qualities in an individual probably color my interpretation and opinion of the work. There may well be something of literary merit buried somewhere in this book, but I haven’t the inclination to shovel aside all of the mush to find it.

On a much more enjoyable note, I’m re-reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, which we are going to discuss in our philosophy group.  It’s not exactly philosophy per se (I guess I was thinking more of Many Waters in terms of L’Engle’s Hebrew scholarship), but it is awfully enjoyable.  I’ll probably reread the rest of the series one of these days soon.  So many of L’Engle’s ideas stick in the brain like burrs: they’re such tremendous visuals.

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