Monday, April 11, 2005

Gone to Carolina Archive: April 11, 2005

A beautiful weekend was had by all here in South Carolina. I had a good book, a good movie and even watched just the right 20 minutes of the Masters. Did a lot of walking around the neighborhood and reconnected with many of my neighbors and my church family.

Mom and Dad are pulling out today, heading back to Minnesota. They will start their golf leagues in 2 weeks and start tilling up their gardens in another month. I did get some garden work out of Mom this weekend, just to whet her appetite.

We planted a plot of 3 rose bushes for Soya's ashes. We planted them in a triangle with Soya's box of ashes down in between them all. We put them in the area where she used to lay in the sun. It was a bittersweet moment when we scooped the dirt back in on top of her box. She was a wonderful pet and companion.

Mensa Boy and I watched The Hudsucker Proxy on Saturday night. An absolute delight! This is a Coen Brothers movie, so of course you are ready to be entertained in the most twisted way possible. And the movie starts right out with a shocker, as the head of highly successful Hudsucker Industries commits suicide in the most stunning fashion. When it becomes known that the deceased's will calls for all of his shares to be offered to the public as stock, the board cooks up a plan to make a lot of money: They will hire a complete idiot to run the company. When the stock prices fall low enough, they will buy them for next to nothing and the restore the company's finances. There are many whacky depictions of corporate life in the movie and if you've ever worked for a big company, you'll recognize a few of them. Tim Robbins is brilliant as the patsy, Norville Barnes and Paul Newman is wonderful as the brilliant leader of the board, Sidney Mussberger. I think one could easily watch this movie over and over and see something new every time. I might need to buy this one!

I also finished reading Prince of Fire by Daniel Silva. Another excellent spy novel. I'm not sure why I have a hard time finding other people who read his stuff. Yes, he is one of those authors who uses the same hero in each book, but Silva does it right: each story is radically different from the last. There is no recycling of stories. But you definitely should start reading Silva's stuff by going back to the first Gabriel Allon novel: The Kill Artist, although I haven't read that one. I started with The English Assassin. You can pick up any of them and get caught up on Allon, but I would think it would be more enjoyable to begin at the beginning.

Gabriel Allon is a Jewish counter-terrorism agent. He spends his life alternately restoring fine art and chasing down Palestinian terrorists. In this novel, Allon is after the man who is plotting to set off bombs in Paris. The man is the son and grandson of palestinian terrorists, both of whom were eliminated by Allon's agency.

My only complaint about this novel is that it's hard to track all the characters sometimes. If I'd had 10 straight hours to just read the book from cover to cover this wouldn't have been a problem. But of course I had to read, put down, read, put down. So every once in a while I had to leaf back through the book to find a character to remind myself who he was.

And finally, the Masters. I am not a golf fan. I am one of those who sees the game of golf as "a good walk spoiled". But of course we had it on for 3 days here, so Dad could watch it. Mom and I were in an out, so I just caught snatches of it. Just the right snatches, apparently. I saw that guy's ball roll off the green after Tiger's ball landed on there. "Vibrations?" That was weird. And I was brushing my teeth in preparation for a church council meeting when Tiger chipped that ball into the 16th hole. If only all golf were that exciting...

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