Last Friday night, Tom and I saw In the Valley of Elah, which was very good. It’s about a man who is trying to find out what became of his son, who disappears right after returning from Iraq.
On Saturday things were off to a slow start, but I made it to Rainbow by mid-afternoon. Then I was going to go to the movies by myself, but heard Tom talking in his apartment to what sounded like his brother Dan, which it was.
The three of us went to Papalote at 24th and Valencia for burritos and then Dan gave us a ride down to the airport—what a pleasure it is to be at the airport but not have to fly!—so Tom could pick up a rental car he needed to get to a hundred-mile bike ride the next day. It’s always great not to be flying, but being near the airport is when it’s easiest to appreciate it.
It was too late for my movie, and for the thing Tom had planned to do, so instead we watched two DVDs, including American Psycho, which neither of us had seen before because it sounded too violent, which it is, but the preeminent actor Christian Bale is in it. We have lately seen three Christian Bale movies, and Tom said he’s coming to think he is quite a fine actor.
We also saw Cry-Baby, a somewhat depraved piece of camp, which I mean in the most complimentary way, written by John Waters and featuring Johnny Depp (absolutely perfect in this role) and Iggy Pop.
It’s amazing to think that John Waters also produced the current version of Hairspray (he directed 1988’s version), which couldn’t be more family friendly.
On Sunday I made two things I’ve made before: Two-Bean Chili with Bulghur, from 366, and Pasta Puttanesca with Artichokes, from The Complete Vegan Cookbook.
The power was out in our apartment building on Monday of this week because PG&E was doing something or other. I came home to find my outgoing answering machine greeting had been erased, and all the messages I’d been saving to listen to in my old age were gone, including the first message ever left on that machine, from David C.
My alarm clock was blinking the wrong time, pleading silently to be reset. I called the time lady and heard this: “Effective September 19th, 2007, the time announcement information service has been discontinued. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Any inconvenience?!? Such as never knowing what time it is again?!?
“How the hell are you supposed to know what time it is?” I howled at the very top of my lungs, twice or thrice.
Why, only a week ago, the time lady and I had had a nice heart-to-heart. I told her my problems: “My Casio electronic watch started blinking and all the characters turned to little u’s, and then it was blank, and now it’s back, but set to 12:00. Time lady, what time is it?”
And she said, in her kind and placid way, just like always, “Good evening, at the tone, Pacific Daylight Time will be …” She even told me how many seconds, not just how many minutes.
And now she’s gone.
I called my mother, who said, “You called your old mother in the Midwest to see what time it is? It’s 10:10, more or less.”
“More or less?!?”
“If you really want to know what time it is, go online—”
“Go online?!? What about all the people who don’t have computers?”
My father got on the phone and also advised going online. I said it takes me approximately five minutes to go to a different web page, and that’s with DSL. “Sounds like you need a new computer,” he said. “That’s what Mom keeps saying,” I said.
Today I made my way to the Fort Collins website that has the exact time due to a rocket ship or something, and it doesn’t have the seconds!
However, it explained how to change the registry setting that governs how often one’s PC is set to the right time; you can set it to check more often, if you want. And then you can go to Start—Settings—Control Panel—Date and Time (if on a PC rather than a Mac) and see the seconds.
It so happens I actually have been contemplating buying a small electronic clock because I can’t see all the way across the room to my alarm clock anymore, so I have just invested in two Sky Scan Atomic (sounds like the 50s) Travel Alarm Clocks, for $8.60 apiece. These clocks will reset themselves to the correct time once a day.
One can go on the bookshelf in the living room and one can go in the kitchen, and then I won’t have to carry my Casio wristwatch from room to room in order to see what time it is. I suppose now someone is going to suggest I strap the watch to my wrist. I'm desperate, but not that desperate.