Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Daze

The holiday weekend was rainy and cool, so we didn't do too much. Which made for quite a relaxing weekend. Allison spent a good deal of time studying and working through school assignments, and we both tackled various sorting and cleaning tasks around the apartment. But overall, it was nice and quiet.

We watched Primer 2.5 times (including half with the director commentary on), and will probably buy it if we can find it cheap. What a great film. First-time filmmaker Shane Carruth has delivered a remarkable and engaging film. I guess you could call it a "science fiction" movie, but this film does not rely on spectacular special effects or technological gimmicks (since it cost ~$7000 to make). Rather, the film tells the story of two friends and part-time inventors who stumble upon some unexpected capabilities of their latest invention. Initially driven by curiosity and later carried by obsession, they quickly learn that their best planning and calculations cannot prepare them for the unexpected consequences of their actions. And despite the engrossing and disorienting plot, the film is really driven by the characters, their relationships, and their reactions to their situations. That being said, the plot is pretty crazy to follow. One should be prepared to invest time in multiple viewings. However, even with the low-budget production values, the film is captivating enough to instill the desire to repeatedly watch it.

We also watched several episodes of Sledge Hammer! - Season One, a great television police-show parody from the mid-80's, now available on DVD. I will be honest: the show isn't as awesomely funny as I remembered. But, it is still very entertaining (in a dumb, over-the-top way), and I plan to finish watching all episodes of both seasons. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I must state for the record that I have been enjoying this show MUCH more than Allison has.)

We also finished reading The Austere Academy, the fifth installment of the Lemony Snicket books. We have enjoyed reading these books, for numerous reasons. This one was the best so far, especially since it (and four, to a lesser degree) diverged from the formulaic plot structure of the first three.

One funny occurrence: we were watching television one evening and I looked out on our porch to see a squirrel attempting to pilfer from our birdfeeder. Because we live in a third floor apartment, with the closest trees twenty yards away, we've never had any issues with squirrels. But, this wayward fellow somehow managed to get up to our porch. It was amusing to watch him perched precariously, as he made it atop the feeder, which is attached by a single chain to the ceiling. The little guy looked pretty scared, since he was a bit too big to be on the feeder, which wobbled and swayed with even the slightest movement of the squirrel. Finally, I decided to open the sliding door and scare him off. When I did so, the startled squirrel jumped/fell backwards -- falling all three stories down to the ground level. He seemed to be alright, though, and scurried into the woods behind the apartment. I wonder if he'll be brave enough to return ...

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