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July 18, 2003
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Reading and T3

2:29 pm: We spent this morning pretty easily. Crumpets and tea for breakfast was really good. John and I called a bunch of people to try and coordinate, finally, getting to meet up with them and talk with them. George had an appointment. We mostly did lots of little things.

Jet played like gangbusters, galloping around the house and having a blast. He had his nap promptly at 10 and stayed asleep exactly 1 1/2 hours and came out to the kitchen, where we were talking, when he woke up.

It's interesting talking with Isabel about her preparations for this part of her life. Of seeing her friends die, or fail, or fall and figuring out the best way to do things. All the decisions she's coming across, and facing head-on are kind of inspirational. Dealing with what is and making the choices instead of ignoring them or wishing them away. It is hard stuff, but also an interesting problem as a whole and it's kind of a privileged to be included in the thinking process of it all.

And they're really enjoying the time they get with Jet, knowing all that, too.

Lunch was just everyone making their own sandwiches or whatever. I decided to have half a sandwich and one of my Bangkok Curry noodle soups. It's spicier than I remembered, but still very good, and John really liked it, too. Isabel tried a single noodle and deemed it too hot for her, so I guess I'm slowly climbing the hot food slope. Jet wouldn't try it, and he wouldn't eat his hot dog or his fruit, but he did eat a couple of corn chips and a cookie. Given that he'd eaten an *entire* crumpet himself, it should have been something I expected.

The crumpets had been a hit with everyone. They're a good 3/4 inch thick, five inches in diameter, and chewy sponge. Solid when compared to an airy English muffin, I think they have a good deal of protein to rise so high and be so solid. I was very impressed when Jet ate a whole one, as it was enough for me for my breakfast with a bit of fruit and the leftover Museli from an experiment to see if Jet would eat anything but the raisins.

After that we all packed up and are now at the Newcastle beach. George and Isabel are playing with him in the sand, and John and I are enjoying the shade and some time to read and write. I'll see if Jet can be lured to the water, eventually. No need to get him too soaked too soon.

I spent the afternoon reading Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynn Jones and loving it. Kathy had given it to me, either for my birthday or for Christmas and it was a perfect book for me. Magic and eldest sister finally making good, after believing she couldn't and being so very afraid outside her circle of duty and the familiar... until she becomes, in many senses, very old suddenly.

It was lots of fun, had a fun plot, a cool ending, and tied stuff up neatly with the efforts of the characters that were involved. I like that kind of ending. The 'fight' scenes, however, were very muddy, in the sense of using a lot of generalities and terms the characters had made up for movements rather than specific. When she did write something specific about a fight, it ended up choppy and disconnected, no flow to it. Given that most of the characters were inexperienced at fighting, it could have been okay, but it was jarring for me when most of the rest of the book was so flowingly eloquent. It was an interesting thing to notice.

John and I then went to see T3 and were... nonplussed, mildly. I'll admit that I didn't like the ending, but will also admit that it made far more sense than the entire plot line of T2. The remote control of the cars made both John and I just shake our heads. Steering by wire is only in a few extremely high-end cars at the moment and we both knew no common police cruiser should be able to be driven by remote control. Period. A few technical problems.

Arnold had his usual 2-ton deliveries. It was okay. I didn't have the catharsis of the first movie, though, and that made a difference to me. There were a few really high impact FX, but the shock points weren't, humor was often flat, and there was none of the electricity or sensual hunger that characterized the first movie for me.

So we left feeling a little flat.

We got home, and George and Isabel were still trying to get Jet to sleep, s we snuck downstairs and I started reading "The Dark Lord of Derkholm", also by Dianna, where a whole world of medieval magic is made to conduct tourists through fantasy quest 'tours' and a mild-mannered magician of the name Derk has to become the Dark Lord for this years tourists and all the frantic work that implies.

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