May 27th, 2002


not looking forward

I have been working to get a password-protected area up on the chorale site. But I don't yet have access to the directory where I can change permissions. It's a little frustrating working with some of these providers. But I will try to take it one thing at a time and try not to get too frustrated.

movie going

I just saw Insomnia. I will write more about it later. Definitely not for everyone. In fact, I'd predict it crashing at the box office after people start telling their friends. I don't know that I'd say I actually liked it...but more later!

I am in an internet cafe downtown. Thought maybe I'd have lunch, couldn't decide what, went for a mocha and time on the computer instead. I may stop to get something for Ivah while I am here, or may just go with what I have.

It's a beautiful day and there are a lot of people downtown, having lunch, hanging out, going to see movies. Spiderman, Star Wars mostly, I think, although the full crowd at About a Boy indicates that one will continue to draw.

DD used to hate the smell of movie popcorn. I sat in the theater today not only smelling it but also hearing the crunches. And I did find it annoying. I think it's not annoying if you are eating popcorn yourself, but I don't really remember being all that irritated by it at other times when I didn't have any myself. Except at Fantasia 2000, where I felt teh crunching and paper tearing was really disruptive. Several times I felt an urge to get up and get a cup of coffee or something. Not a good sign for the future. I am turning into a different kind of movie-goer, the one who thinks she's watching a video at home.

I feel frustrated. I have yet to speak to anyone, have a conversation in person, this weekend. Only "grande nonfat latte, please" or "One for Insomnia"... I built this particular house and I'm living in it all right. I love being alone yet I love a good conversation too. I want it all, and want to be able to choose when.

speaking of crunching

While I was writing that last, there was a person sitting behind me on a stool, crunching something and tearing a plastic bag and I was feeling really irritated by it. Seems that person has gone now.. No, guess not. Last dregs of something getting poured out of a box or something...


After I wrote that last entry, I walked into the magazine store next door to the coffee place and bought two magazines. Pam walked in while I was looking, and we hugged and said hello and I asked who did her hair (Blade Runners). I then told the clerk how much I liked the music that was playing (Brahms' violin concerto) and we got into a conversation on writing and about livejournal.

I later remembered that yesterday I bought a coffee at the cafe in Barnes & Noble and got into a conversation with that clerk about being online (he'd seen my PayPal debit card in my wallet).

So I actually have had a couple of conversations this week, and both nice ones. Too bad I don't actually know these people.

(no subject)

I have Karol's package all ready to mail but haven't found a box big enough to hold Ivah's. hmmmm. I don't want to create a box.

My bedroom is looking promising. It is at the point where I can consider painting the walls and know it won't be that awful to move the stuff. I am watching several episodes of Trading Spaces and thinking about colors.

About a hike

Saturday I got started early. I was on the road by 8:45, and got to Goleta at about 10:30. I would have been there a few minutes earlier except that my new trail guide did not identify the offramp correctly, so I pulled off past it, consulted a map, and drove back.

That was indicative of the hike description all the way through. Sucky! I chose the book because it has so many hikes right in my range and over three counties. But the description of this hike was really short on detail. No description of the type path, where each leg began, any notable landmarks, length of any part. I noticed, too, that the estimates of time are all based on a thirty-minute mile, regardless of terrain. Fortunately, there is a simple map that helped me through it. And because of the nearly flat topography and visibility I was able to orient myself from wherever I was and able to head in the right directions.

The hike is really a walk. It starts at the Goleta Beach park, and heads immediately into the UCSB campus, parallels the ocean up to the Marine Lab, then circles the lagoon on campus. I had never been on the UCSB campus before and loved it. It made me want to go back to school again. Many pedestrian and bicycle paths through it, and it is right on the ocean. So these paths are well used - runners, walkers, bicyclists.

The day was gray and somewhat foggy, so I took very few pictures. There was one animal that looked the size of a squirrel but seemed to me more the look of a chipmunk. It posed for me so perhaps I will be able to figure it out, if the picture is sharp.

I saw many many squirrels and a wide variety of birds. I could not identify most of them. The area on one side of the lagoon is newly planted and a new decomposed granite path has been installed. This area has signs everywhere: sensitive habitat, habitat restoration, don't bother the animals...and yet right there I saw a young man with his unleashed dog, who had just come out of the water. The man seemed to think this was just great.

The walk is about four miles and I did develop some blisters. Maybe it was the socks. I should pay more attention to socks. I could also feel the length of the walk in my right calf particularly. I was glad to get back to my car.

After one wrong turn I managed to get back on the right road, heading north again. One road goes into the UCSB campus and nowhere else, and of course that was the way I went first. The Good Earth restaurant is at the very next exit, Fairview. I had to ask myself, do I miss this kind of opportunity? And no, I don't.

I had soup and salad. A vegetable soup and vegetable salad, both loaded with chunky, actually rather too large cuts of vegetables. Plus a yummy little roll. A really healthy meal that was very satisfying. I left there with a loaf of their many-grain bread, which is almost gone now...

On the way home, I stopped to see the Strawberry Festival. I had to park on the other side of the high school and take the shuttle bus into the "old town". What a zoo! There seems to be a lot fewer strawberry stands than there are the usual street fair stands. The hot item this year is coiled hoses. Everyone must have gone to the same trade show. There were also all kinds of crafty things and cell phone accessories and I think as many as three cingular stands. Interesting.

I went into the one coffee place there, Andreini's, and had a latte and biscotti while sitting in the sitting area - where there is a chess game, couches, and high tables and stools. I wandered a bit more, enjoyed the sound of the various bands, and made my way back to my car on foot. I didn't want to deal with the shuttle making its rounds through the heavy traffic.

I will undoubtedly use the trails book again, but I think I should get the USGS maps for any that have any elevation to them, that might be the least bit confusing. This book gives me an appreciation of the Sierra Club trail guide that I have used so extensively.


Christopher Nolan, with help from his adept screenwriter and fine actors, does for lack of sleep with Insomnia what he did for lack of memory with Memento. He takes a close look at LA detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino), whose obsessive pursuit of justice led him to cross a line. To cool the subsequent pursuit of Internal Affairs detectives, his superiors send Dormer and his partner Hap (Martin Donovan) to a remote Alaskan town, to assist local police with the investigation of a murder.

Dormer is already losing sleep over his actions on the plane, and when young detective Ellie Burr (Hillary Swank) meets him enthusiastically and tells him he is her idol, he is less than comfortable with the role of mentor.

Dormer's pushy investigative style is only exaggerated as he continues to be plagued by insomnia, and he gradually slips from his pedestal in Ellie's eyes. Ultimately faced with a truly calculating killer, Dormer has to redefine good and evil.

The dark look of the film, also reminiscent of Memento, reflects the murkiness of the theme and perhaps the true darkness of Dormer's soul. It isn't an easy film to watch, not least because of the incredible power of Pacino's performance. But to call it a "performance" undermines its real effect, his ability to become that person. I wonder if he was able to leave it at the office.

Pacino was well-supported by the rest of the cast, and especially by Swank, one of a new crop of young, beautiful, intelligent good actors.

I suspect this film will fade from notice because of disappointing box-office receipts, because it is not lightweight entertainment. Unfortunate but not uncommon.