Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday FitzFix

Man, it's Friday afternoon already, and I got nuthin'.

Let's see ... I applied for a passport this morning. It was pretty painless. Expensive, but painless. Just went to a local post office with an application I had downloaded from a government website, showed my driver's license and birth certificate, and was in and out in less than 10 minutes. They even had a camera to take your picture. I was all set to write about waiting in line and the quirky characters there, but nope, nothing but polite, expeditious service. If I were a radio talk-show host, now I would begin to talk about how this is too easy for the terrorists, but, hey, I just appreciate the convenience.

What else ... Hannibal Rising is out this weekend, and I have no desire to see it. Some 15 years ago, I read Red Dragon cover to cover in an obsessive frenzy (the Doc has never let me forget how I even read while she drove us somewhere, not a long trip either). This might have been after I saw Silence of the Lambs, and I remember thinking, "If this stuff really happens, then the world is a sick place, but if it doesn't, then whoever thought it up is really twisted." Naturally, I also read that book in short order, but the whole franchise went south when Thomas Harris wrote the sequel, Hannibal. I was eager to read Hannibal, but unlike the first two, finishing it became a chore, not a pleasure. And the movie was even worse. Ridley Scott obviously has his gifts, but his only defense of this one is that he was handcuffed by a ponderous script. An review of Hannibal Rising in the New Yorker last fall succinctly covered this declension. And, yes, I am one of those snobs who prefers Michael Mann's Manhunter to Brett Ratner's Red Dragon, both of which take inspiration from the same source. I guess Harris has had a hard time letting go of Lecter, who has been his meal ticket (insert rimshot) but it might be time to go in another direction.

Anna Nicole Smith? Sorry, no. Pass. At least I will try to.

Oswego County, New York, is digging out from the nearly eight feet of snow that has fallen since Sunday and could get another four feet this weekend. And, according to the Dallas Morning News, most of the schools were in session on Wednesday. (Did you hear that, Baltimore County, Maryland, school officials who decided to close schools this week because there was less than two inches of accumulation? And thanks for dumping enough salt at the end of my driveway to brine an elephant.)

Blogging soundtrack for most of the week has been The Replacements' Don't You Know Who I Think I Was. Very enjoyable and lots of related youtube video to unearth, including a hilarious (to me) clip of Paul Westerberg singing Roadhouse Blues, lying flat on his back, hidden from the camera behind monitor speakers, as smoke from his cigarette drifts upward. I am not going to even try to say that I was cool enough to like The Replacements when they were big (and all still alive). I knew them from Say Anything, and a friend of mine included some Paul Westerberg on a mix tape he gave me, but for those of us who will be turning 40 soon (unlike Anna Nicole. See? I knew I couldn't do it), this music takes you back to earnest youthful angst and anger, the halcyon nights of Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. Fortunately, I guess, the schoolbus will be pulling up soon, expelling my children and launching me forth to 2007 and parental responsibilities.

Have a nice weekend.

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