Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Good Morning

Yes, it's one of those rare days when I up before the sun, mainly because I came home yesterday at 5 pm and crashed before 5:30. Well, I don't know if crashed is quite the right word. I was so tired, but my mind was racing and it was hard to settle down. I slept until 7, had a little dinner, and went back to bed until about 4 this morning. My back was hurting from so long in bed, so I took a nice warm bath and then did some yoga to help stretch it out. (I've done yoga for years, but I hadn't the last few weeks, and I could definitely feel my spine slide into place and a need to stretch my hamstrings. Child pose is especially good for lower back pain, I've discovered.I'm convinced yoga is one of the reasons that in our group at work--where I'm the one who's the least in shape otherwise--I can easily bend to the floor and beyond, where several of the girls can just bend past their knees. Of course, I have deficits in other ways. I cannot do sitting bend poses where I put my head on my legs, for example. Part of that is having a fairly shelf-like chest, and part is that I have proportionally long legs and short torso.)

So, I've let Cerys out (the moon is big and lovely as it heads towards setting), fed them all--including Spock, who was determined to help me do my yoga by getting on my chest and stretching his paws out onto my face. I learnt a long a time to ignore that and meditate around him. What's the point of meditation if you can only do it when you're completely calm and surrounded by quiet?

It is very quiet in here now, though--just the rush of water from the aquarium and a soft whir from the computer. My upstairs neighbour must be up as well--someone just walked across the floor. Outside it's positively tomb-like--no birds, no insects. It's like the world is holding it's breath before starting up all over again.

It occurs to me that I haven't been taking the time to practise mindfulness or distress tolerance skills lately, or do things to help me stay on an even keel. Don't get me wrong, I'm not foaming at the mouth or anything. But I was starting to feel overwhelmed and that's an early sign of problems that need to be nipped in the bud. Hence deciding to get some rest and doing meditation. I remember thinking in the bath that it would be nice if I could work some more (an opening for a part-time job has come up that pays about what I make an hour supposedly cataloguing, but I've worked there before, and it's mostly mindless copy cataloguing and label making). It would help me get some savings, but at the same time, I realised that working there would take up what free time I have and put a strain in terms of running to catch the bus, get there without getting a chance to eat properly--which is bad when you're diabetic, etc. The last time I was there I was laid off because I couldn't work more than 12 hours a week, and I rather felt like they'd lied to me about the scope of the job, etc. (the place looks very nice on paper--or website--but around here it's considered a sort of sweatshop for librarians and library students). The last time I even thought about applying there I had a panic attack. This time I was thinking, well, I know these things up front and it's not like I'd be giving up my benefits/nice environment, etc. but just adding it...fortunately I listened to reality and decided that it wasn't worth extra money to have a lot of stress in my life. My current schedule works very well for me in terms of keeping my head on straight, with a balance of work-time, friend-time, and me-time. I think that's more important, don't you?

By the way, I talked a lot about going to the movie Saturday but didn't actually report back. I went to see the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which got an abysmal rating from the critics, and I can see why; the movie was overblown in some ways, bogged down (there are an awful lot of characters to introduce, clumsy in its action) but overall a whole lot of fun. Sean Connery made an excellent Quartermain. I was rather annoyed at one critic I read who described Quartermain as a knock-off of Indiana Jones. Hello, doesn't anyone read anymore? Quartermain was way before Indiana's time and, quite frankly, quite an original. I loved Mina Harker (ever read Dracula?) quickly putting herself back together after ripping out someone's throat in proper ladylike fashion. Peta Wilson (who also played in 'La Femme Nikita') is excellent. The Invisible Man had the best line--referring to being naked in the snow. Dorian Gray was done very well, and whilst I'd never seen Stuart Townsend before, I was quite taken with him. I could certainly see him as Lestat in Queen of the Damned. Although I'm not entirely sure anyone in the theatre besides my group even knew who he was. Nemo's gadgets were great, if a little out there. I understand why they threw Tom Sawyer in, but I wasn't as taken with him. Dr Jeckyll/Mr Hyde was done well, even with somewhat obvious CGI. The mystery bad guy should have been far more mysterious and diabolical; he is also literary in origin (one of my favourites) and there were some very specific references to the canon from which he sprung. Again, the people in the theatre seemed a little blank on this one. I guess action movie goers in general don't read, whereas it was always the mix of steampunk age and literary background that drew me to the comics. There were some very difficult parts in terms of suspending disbelief. The Nautilus travelling up the Seine and then, even harder to believe, the canals of Venice were just too much. Dorian's immortality apparently also extends to his suit. Tom Sawyer apparently has an inborn American ability to drive a motorcar, especially making hairpin turns in a v-e-r-y long automobile. And yes, these were a bit much, but rather in keeping with the writing from which the characters were derived. I mean, it is supposed to be over the top--most of it could be forgiven, in part, because of the genre from which it is derived--if you've read 'King Solomon's Mines' or 'Gulliver on Mars', etc., you'll know what I mean. It was pretty predictable, but it was a bit of rip-roaring fun, although I nearly cried when they destroyed not one, but two libraries, the first having a wonderful chance to put those ladders into action, the last a private collection of the Master Criminal (which meant, of course, that it would be the treasures of the ages) by flamethrower. And I want to know where they filmed the library where they met 'M'--with its masonic emblems. Again, I guess that's not a typical reaction, but hey, I'm a librarian and historian. I would certainly recommend it as a matinee or rental, at least. The technology, sets, and costumes were all well done, and I think the actors did a remarkable job with what they were given. Keep in mind, too, that this was the movie being filmed back when Prague and its environs were blasted with rain and flooding last year, where sets were being destroyed almost as quickly as they could be put up. It couldn't have been an easy one to make.

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