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Saturday, March 16, 2002

Maybe it isn't better than the book, but it's more accessible. I read the book at much too early an age to appreciate and understand it for what it was. That's probably part of the reason I was never tempted to read it again. I thought I might be, after seeing the movie, but I'm not.

This is not the place for a review of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, because everyone who cares has already seen it. And they probably liked it more than I did. I'm not saying I hated the movie, far from it. It has some of the most beautiful scenic shots of any film I've ever seen, and one of the most intense action sequences, and a practically perfect ending for the first part of a trilogy.

But I wasn't riveted for the whole three hours. There were times when the conversation of the tiny voices of the wee humans sitting in the row behind me distracted me from what was going on in front of me. I followed the story, even having read the book so many years ago, so that wasn't the problem (although I'm convinced that people who were in the theater to see how the book was translated to film were not disappointed).

It was just so dark, most of it, and so ponderous. After we left the Shire, I just didn't have much fun watching the rest of it. Every line is uttered with such portentous gravity. And I didn't cry — a movie gets marked down if it doesn't make me laugh or cry.

On the basis of how much my emotions were jerked around by a movie, In the Bedroom would be my pick of the five nominated films. If we go by how much I admire the imagination behind the picture, I'd take Moulin Rouge. I had the most fun at Gosford Park, and A Beautiful Mind was the most uplifting and inspirational.

So I'll stick with what I said before. I'd be satisfied with any of the five winning (even though I loved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Life As a House more than all of them, and I don't care if that marks me as intellectually inferior to the critics and Academy voters).

Back in my own world, at about six last night the Boss and I were talking on the phone, going over the paperwork we couldn't do earlier because he was on the road. He asked me, "How much longer do you want to keep at this? It's Friday night." (Oh, is it?)

"I can keep going as long as you can," I foolishly replied. I really wanted to get these matters behind us, because they were clogging the chute and keeping me from attacking anything else on my to-do list. I mean, I can't do cost reports until we figure out whether the invoices are correct.

It's that simple, and yet it's never that simple. The Boss is forever complicating my life, and on so many levels. He always has corrections and refinements, and he does them his way. For example, he tells me the amount of the credit, but not how much of it is sales tax, and I need to know that for the sales tax report. He gives me no backup for anything other than a worksheet he scribbles on a piece of scratch paper and faxes to me.

Sometimes, the paperwork is all in order, but he forgets that it needs to roll across my desk somewhere in the process. One of the other things he faxed me last night was a change order he'd negotiated over a month ago. He'd done it all from his remote office without my knowledge, but now I suddenly have to fit it into the cost reports and financial projections.

So there I was, at eight o'clock on a Friday night, still trying to clear the jam and let the rest of it all flow freely. I could have called him again and asked more questions, but I was afraid I'd still be working at nine or ten o'clock. Now I'm thinking maybe I can't go as long as he can after all.


Threatening clouds.

I thought it would be raining when I got out of the movie at 4:30 this afternoon, but the sun was still shining. It was cold, though, and it had definitely rained during the three-plus hours I was inside.

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Latest recommendation:

John, Journal of a Writing Man, March 15, Welcome to Brookfield, little one

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One year ago: Resume Speed
"All I can do is try to be ready to get ready."

Two years ago: Shocked and Dismayed
"Maybe you don't even realize that you think this way, because everyone else shares your narrow perspective."

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