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February 15, 2000

Given a day of respite from the rain (and only one day, they tell us), I probably should have gone for a walk this morning instead of running errands. But I've been putting off getting a haircut for weeks, and I knew that was one thing that would improve my mood even more than walking. I've been waiting for someone to tell me how shaggy I was looking, but my peeps are too polite, I guess. Or maybe it wasn't as noticeable from the outside perspective. I just knew it was taking too long to wash and dry every morning. The biggest advantage is that I can now sleep a little later, and slip in and out of the shower more quickly.

There were no major surprises when the Oscar nominations were announced this morning, but I was pleased that my favorite film of the year, The Sixth Sense, got so many nods in major categories. I didn't see it on many top ten lists from the critics, and I don't expect it to win the big prize, but I think Toni Collette has a chance in the supporting actress category, and M. Night Shyamalan's screenplay is a beautifully imagined piece of writing. It doesn't appear that any film is likely to sweep the top awards, though, with three pictures getting at least seven nominations.

I have all of the official ballot materials now for the March 7 primary, and the one issue I've made up my mind about is the one I'm getting the most advice on. The "No on Knight" people have sent me two letters regarding Proposition 22, the measure to ban gay marriage. The first one I opened was signed by Melissa Etheridge, which I thought was pretty cool. It contained lyrics from her song "Scarecrow," written about the murder of Matthew Shepard. The second letter was signed by Ellen DeGeneres and her mom, so that was neat, too. Money is what they want, of course, so I'm not taking their interest personally. Not that I would anyway.

West Beirut is playing in town for one week only, as I discovered when I read today's paper, so I hustled to the theater after work to catch it. It's a charming film about two Moslem boys and a Christian girl, coping with the pressures of adolescence. Set against the violence of 1975 Lebanon, this is also the coming-of-age tale of a family, and eventually an entire country, as they come to realize that the world they've known is ending. There's an edge of anxiety throughout, as people struggling against the odds to maintain some normalcy in their lives put themselves innocently but deliberately in harm's way. It's the only way they can live and grow, by wrestling with fear and flight, and then facing their volatile circumstances as best they can. But this isn't essentially a war movie or a political tract. It's the performances of the three engaging young actors that are the heart of this film.

The nine-year-old working the ticket booth (well, she looked nine) didn't seem to want to sell me a ticket. Or maybe it was just that she didn't want to get off the phone long enough. "You know, this doesn't start until 6:50," she says. Well, it was already 6:40, so I didn't think I should have to stand outside for another ten minutes. Then she has the nerve to say, "Adult or senior?" I actually hesitated for a second, because I thought I heard "junior." I haven't even been carded for twenty years, so... Hey! Maybe it was the haircut. Maybe to a nine-year-old everyone looks ancient. Needless to say, I paid full price. I started paying full price when I was thirteen, and I'm not old enough to stop yet.

I was nice, though. I didn't say anything about her slutty clothes and makeup. I'm always nice, 'cuz that's how us old folks is.

I don't watch much television any more, but the shows I like are the ones most likely to be preempted by the networks during sweeps month. Last night, Freaks and Geeks. Tonight, Sports Night. We so needed to see yet another edition of Twenty-One and one more Drew Carey rerun. Nice call. At least I had the option of turning off the set as soon as I realized what was going on.

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