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January 9, 2000

Mom and I went to see Toy Story 2 today in Rohnert Park. It's been so long since I saw the original film that I can't really make a comparison, but I do know that I thought this movie was marvelously inventive and very funny. The creation of characters out of computer images and the voices of talented actors leaves me in awe of a reality that does not exist except on the screen, a world that began in the minds of men and women with the vision and talent to draw us into it. That could be said of all movies, I guess, but they don't all do it this well.

This is why I could never be a film reviewer. I tend to find something to like about any movie I see. Where art is concerned, I lead a mostly uncritical life. My response is emotional, and I just want to absorb as much as I can and try to see through the artist's eyes. That doesn't mean that there aren't works that I don't like, just that I don't condemn something simply because it isn't to my taste. I gravitate toward films (and books and music) that are slightly offbeat or that convey a unique perspective, although I obviously have no hostility toward mainstream culture. Life's too short to rule out sampling anything, whether it's popular or not.

Since it opened a year or so ago, the stadium seating theater in Rohnert Park is the only place I've gone to see movies. The unobstructed view and comfortable seats have spoiled me for any other theaters, but I'm excited about the new art house opening this Friday, just a few blocks from my house. The new Rialto Cinemas Lakeside is going to be showing foreign films, independents, classic re-releases, documentaries, and other types of movies that you can't see in the mainstream venues (and we have plenty of those here). American Movie is actually going to be playing in my town! (Not to mention Lucie Aubrac.) I'm really looking forward to this.

My cookies have gone over well with everyone who's tried them, but I'm not satisfied that they're my best work. I've already made some decisions about what I might try differently next time, starting with not leaving them in the oven as long. That won't be for a while, though, because it took half a day, and there are other things I want to try. At least, I think there are other things; I'm not really sure what my next big experiment will be. I'm new at this cooking thing and still trying to find out if there's something I do well enough to be my specialty. Some day I want people to invite me to dinner and ask me to bring my whatever.

I must have overestimated my recovery, because I've found myself wearing out early both days this weekend. With another Monday looming, I'm quitting early tonight. With almost a third of January gone, I'll need all the energy I can save up to get everything done in just three more weeks.

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