I can hardly remember what I’ve done for the last couple of days. That’s mostly because this weblog serves as my main memory, and if I don’t write down what happened immediately I tend to forget it.

Over the past few days I’ve spent a lot of time hanging out with my friends, which is definitely good. I saw X-Men 3 last night, which was mediocre, but still fun.

My hard drive is making worrisome noises. I should go.

Slow summer

It’s nice not to do too much. Since I last wrote, I’ve made some substantial progress on my window project, gotten new shoes, seen a concert by a band from New Orleans, and had a picnic in the Audobon sanctuary. Plans for the rest of the summer are appearing, slowly, including a week in Florida and a few days in New Hampshire. My 21st birthday is in a week, and I have absolutely no plans. I’d like to have a party, but I really can’t come up with an appealing plan for one.


My cousin Jake has been working in my town, at least occasionally, so today we went out for lunch. Before going back to work, he gave me a broken computer that had been sitting in his room for a while. I took it home and diagnosed it (bad hard drive); it may become our main family machine.

My mother was too sick to work today, but by dinnertime she was feeling well enough to go sailing, along with Jake. It was nice.


Today was a beautiful day, and I wanted to play outside. I didn’t know quite what to do, but eventually Paul and Christina and I decided to play tennis (we rejected golf on the grounds that none of us know how to play). We met at my house, then drove to my high school’s courts, which were open. None of us are actually good enough to play anything like a real game, or even make correct cross-court serves, but given that there were three of us, we weren’t really intent on playing actual tennis anyway.

We hit the ball around for a while (maybe an hour?) then came back to my house to make plans for dinner. This turned out to be a serious point of contention, as Mom had already planned dinner for me, and my friends had no interest in her stir-fry. It was eventually resolved, in some complicated way, and I had two dinners, one home, and one at Angelina’s (the local pizza parlor).

Last night we rented our first movie from Redbox, a DVD vending machine at Stop & Shop. Today we returned Firewall and got A History of Violence. It was a very strange movie, and not very much fun. The director seems to have deliberately avoided any characterization at all. The main character is a perfect null, living in a town that could not be a more perfect self-conscious reproduction of the movie stereotype of a small midwestern town. Long story short: he eventually kills lots of people. Paul said it best: the movie may have some kind of deep meaning, but it’s not entertaining enough to make me spend any energy searching for it.

It’s late, and I’m tired, and I can’t talk to Sara because she’s in Canada on business. I’m going to sleep.


I saw Firewall tonight. I’ve heard so many people say bad things about it that I was pleasantly surprised. It is, in the end, an old-fashioned action movie, but it seems well thought out. I’m usually pretty good at finding plot holes, and there are a few, but they don’t seem egregious. Maybe this is that effect where lower expectations lead to improved satisfaction. Even the age thing (Harrison Ford was 62 during filming, with an eight-year-old son and a young-looking wife) didn’t seem like a problem. It wouldn’t be the first time a rich man married a younger woman. His action-heroing seemed pretty much consistent with his age; he’s stiff, and a little slow, and mostly just gets very lucky.

It was fun.

Ant Traps

We bought ant traps at the hardware store for our house. I opened them today to put them down and the box was empty.

How often does one get sold $4 worth of nothing?

Active Day

Today I went for a run. It was my first run in my fancy new running shoes that we bought in January. I ran according to my usual method: make random turns for 15 minutes, then retrace my steps. I ended up running 3.6 miles in about 33 minutes. That’s not what you’d call fast, but it’s pretty good for me, after not running for seven months. Also, it was very hilly; maybe next time I’ll try a different route.

This afternoon we went sailing, which was fun, despite the lack of sunlight or wind. It was a good temperature, and sailing doesn’t always have to be fast.

I just got back from a showing of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Westport Community Theater. The cast was the usual mix of untrained amateurs and idle professionals, and the play itself is not entirely to my liking. Nevertheless, it was well-acted, with great flow in the dialogue and fun staging. I’m glad I went.


I hope that people who see my computer notice my background. It’s a live map of the earth. It is made by combining a day image and a night image according to the time of day and time of year, then overlaying a cloud image that is reconstructed from fresh satellite data every three hours. That much is provided automatically by Xplanet.

I just added another component to this. The daytime image will now be changed depending on the month, corresponding to NASA’s Blue Marble monthly maps. This means my desktop now shows the correct amount of ice and vegetation for the season.


I drove back from Student House this afternoon. I left my key, picked up my deposit (and my bathrobe, which I’d left), got a reuben at the local sandwich place, and set off. It was sunny (or at least bright) when I left, but within an hour it had started to rain, and then to rain torrentially. The speed limit was 65, but traffic at one point slowed to 15 MPH, simply because we couldn’t see anything.

Luckily, I had a new CD to keep me occupied. As a graduation present, Christina gave me the soundtrack to Tsotsi, a South African movie that I’ve never heard of. It’s a great album, particularly because it covers a wide range of moods, styles, and languages (many of the songs are in African dialects). I had a realization listening to it: soundtracks are naturally better. A soundtrack must have music that covers the whole range of emotions expressed in the movie, which is hopefully wide. Soundtracks are also subject to the demands of the director, not only the whims of the artist. The director has a stronger incentive than the artist to have music that appeals to a wide audience.

Anyway, it’s a fun CD, if you don’t mind not being able to understand the words.