Sunday, January 18, 2015
winter weekend in Halifax
We're in the midst of a typical Halifax winter right now and that means the temperatures bounce back and forth between very cold and just above freezing with the addition of some often powerful winds. Considering there's usually some precipitation in the offing we can expect snow and rain in sometimes equal measure with the result that whatever hits the ground usually freezes. Icy patches and lumpy icy footprints make walking more a trial than an enjoyable outing to one's favorite haunts. Of course we're still going to the park as often as we can (barring storms and below zero windy days) but we've been avoiding the higher paths because whatever you walk up also has to be walked down - the same route the water has taken when the snow melted a bit. Ah well, at least we're almost a month past the shortest day so I won't complain.
Yesterday it was 5° and windy, so instead of the park, we decided to go and see a movie we'd been looking forward to - 'Inherent Vice'. The book written by Thomas Pynchon has become a favorite of ours, at least as far as normal size novels go. ('Against the Day' at 1100 pages is our real favorite and highly recommended if you haven't read Pynchon since 'Gravity's Rainbow'.) 'Inherent Vice' is a comedic hard-boiled novel about a hippie detective in late 60s LA. Numb, who lived there in those years, found the book very true to his memories of the time. I lived elsewhere back then but also remember the period and attitudes similarly - as probably do you. Anyway, the movie was very disappointing for both of us. The director and scriptwriter, Paul Thomas Anderson, born in 1970, seems to have missed the feeling of the book and the time entirely by turning the wild and joyous original into character studies of the detective, his ex-girlfriend (who hardly appears in the novel), and the policeman. He made such a wonderful job of portraying the early 20th century in 'There Will Be Blood' that we thought this would have been easy. Instead, we didn't even get to see LA since almost everything was filmed inside. Anyway, I see it has a few good reviews but we gave it a one star.
We rarely go to movies these days anyway since it's much more pleasant to rent or stream them. 'Avatar' was great at the theater with our 3D glasses perched on our noses (^^). I have to say what made yesterday's experience bad before the start was having to watch commercials in 'surround sound' and then seeing previews for 'Hot Tub Time Machine 2' and some other silly overly frantic things neither of us can remember. No wonder 'The Interview' got made and released if those movies are typical of what audiences pay money for now.
Speaking of art of one kind or another, I've got myself stuck again in my attempt to illustrate the story a friend's daughter wrote many years ago. The problem is in keeping all the pictures at the same design and color levels. At this point I've just about come to the conclusion it doesn't really matter if they all look different since (for better or worse) my particular style is always going to be there even if the girl's shirt is pink in one picture and peach in another. Geez. What can I say, but I'm just not a comic book artist (a fine and worthy profession though it may be). This is a recent practice picture - still deciding on paper type and how much inking is the right amount.