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Month: April 2011

Not a review of Atlas Shrugged

I promised a longer review of Atlas Shrugged for this weekend. This isn’t it. Sorry. I was going to write it today. Really I was. Then I woke up at an ungodly hour brimming with energy. Nearly ran up the stairs to the garret, where I mudded, sanded, primed, painted, and painted some more. Midday, I noticed — OMG! — the sun is shining. Actually shining! So I grabbed a cup of tea intending to sit on the back deck throwing a ball for Ava and petting the big dogs. After 10 minutes of sitting, an irresistible urge came on…


Quick take on Atlas Shrugged, Part I

Just dragged my butt home from Civilization and said hello to the dogs. I’ll have more over the weekend, but here’s my quick take on Atlas Shrugged, Part I: It’s better than anybody had any reason to expect given its low budget and rushed production. Way better. Yeah, the writing is sometimes clunky and speechifying (though less so than in the novel). Nobody’s going to win any acting Oscars. If you hadn’t read the book, the movie would be hard to follow. That said, though, Atlas does a lot with a little. There’s gorgeous cinematography of trains and the Rearden…


Your tax dollars at work

I’m off to see Atlas Shrugged, Part I today! Turns out the nearest theater showing it isn’t quite as far as I first thought. Still, it’s In Civilization several hours from here, so the trek will keep me gone all day. Hope a bunch more of you are able to catch the film today or this weekend. Hope it’s as good as the trailer. In the meantime, on this day that Would Be Tax Day (but isn’t this year because Our Public Servants in DC are taking the day off, exhausted from their Ceaseless Labors Behalf of the Little People),…


Thursday miscellany

I think this is satire. But these days, ya never know. Sometimes it amazes me that the fedgov hasn’t arranged a convenient “accident” or “heart attack” for John Williams to keep him from telling inconvenient truths. Horsefeathers. Provocative horsefeathers, though. The quaintly interesting thing is that the author takes for granted that “government isn’t the problem” and expects readers to share his view — when his own words show otherwise. Okay, we’ve all heard the flap about IKEA. But should we tear our hair over America’s third-world status or cheer along with the politicians for “job creation”? “Is sugar toxic?”…


Garage sales shall provide, part whatever

My living room doesn’t normally look like this … But I just returned from a moving sale with all this loot: swivel recliner and hassock, seven-foot fiberglass step-ladder with paint shelf, wooden folding table, tin snips, two caulk guns, two rolls of self-adhesive drywall tape (unopened), gas can, large full bottle of Rain-X, super-duper adjustable drywall square, baby gate, two rugs, door mat, four-foot bubble level, never-used handmade afghan, doggie bistro, flexi-leash with scoop bag attachment, 100 feet of nylon rope (unopened), heavy-duty extension cord, hacksaw, etc. etc. etc. Oh yeah, and one beach chair with two attachable umbrellas. Looks…


Cultural event of the season

Once again, it’s time for that all-important, can’t-miss cultural event of the season: The Washington Post Peeps Diorama Competition. (You will not be surprised at all to learn that two of this year’s featured entries feature TSA “Peeps” shows.)

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Work, health, silver hair, and other thoughts from the drywall wars

After yesterday, I’ve concluded that manual labor is too much like work. We writers are prone to get all whiny about what tough jobs we have and how we suffer for our Art. But I tell you, by the end of the day yesterday, if I’d have had to haul one more slab of drywall up that narrow, twisty attic stair, I’d have sat down on the steps and cried. —– Ten years ago I drywalled Cabin Sweet Cabin by myself (except for the ceiling, where I assisted somebody else). So I thought “piece of cake!” when I merely faced…


How to prepare for the unprepared

Today is another busy day of construction and deconstruction here at Ye Olde House. A note from a friend summed matters up perfectly (I paraphrase): “Old homes have character — and sometimes are characters.” Ayup. These things must be coped with! Today again I won’t have a lot, but with luck the time spent painting and drywalling will be meditative and will produce Brilliant Thoughts. Later. So I’m throwing another question at you: How prepared are you to deal with unprepared people? This is a perennial question of course but I bring it up because of something a non-political friend…


Monday miscellany

Unexpected work struck today. Oh no! And it’s not even the kind that pays. Still, it’s the kind that has to be done during today’s five-second bursts of sunshine. So just some quick stuff for you: Manhattan-sized manmade floating island. Um … okay. Wonder how far that $50,000 will take the project? Wonder what that whiz-kid actually plans to do with it? Old-timers have seen this script before, but one of these days somebody’s going to succeed with the notion. “The prosecution rests, but I can’t.” Eloquent statement by a victim of “justice.” (Why do people always say they don’t…


The ghosts of old houses

Or what I did while not blogging yesterday. I need a Ouija board. Or a medium. Yeah, a seance is in order. I really, seriously need to have a talk with the ghosts of the long-dead folks who built this house! I’ve got hard questions for those old haunts. I mentioned the other day that the living room floor had already surprised me with an “issue” as I prepared to rip the wall-to-wall carpet out. You old-house mavens told me what I was about to encounter. You were right — as far as that went. Today was the day the…