The second check arrived from the NYT, so that's one potential screwup that did not happen. The mail is also bringing year-end investment statements. Ouch!
I worked a long day Monday, came home at 2am too tired to cook, so made the mistake of heating Lean Cuisine Salmon with Basil. Vile. Avoid at all costs. This has been a public service announcement.
It's time for the Independent Spirit Awards screenings, one of the best things about being a member of IFP. I've already seen 7 of the nominees, and they'll be sending DVDs for about 8 others (and some are available on Netflix), so that eases up the schedule a bit. Still, I prefer watching on the big screen with an audience, if possible. We started out with:
"The Take" - the minute you learn John Leguizamo's character is an armored truck driver, you know something bad is going to happen. Violent.
"Chop Shop" (Q&A with director Ramin Bahrani) - I liked Bahrani's "Man Push Cart" and this had a similar New York-y feel. Great cinematography (nominated) in the Shea Stadium area, not much plot. I couldn't place one familiar-looking actor. Turned out he was the lead in "Man Push Cart" (duh!).
"Sugar" - LOVED it! A young Dominican tries to succeed in baseball, but there's so much more. I had a headache today which miraculously disappeared seeing this movie (the Vanquish might have helped, too). Imdb says it'll have a limited release in April.
After Tuesday's movies, I went to work on the puzzles at the NYT. The work went OK, but I was upset to see the book giveaway shelf was bare. Were there just no books? Is the shelf gone? Did it move? Oh no!
I finished these books, none of which were from the shelf:
"If Only It Were True" by Marc Levy - A comatose woman materializes as a ghost in her old apartment, charming its current resident. You're always aware that this is a fairy-tale, but it manages to captivate nonetheless. The story seemed cinematic, and research showed it was the basis for Reese Witherspoon's "Just like Heaven" which I sort of saw (without headphones) on a flight.
"Valentines & Vitriol" by Rex Reed - 1977 compilation of celeb interviews, so it seems dated. The most interesting segment described Ellen Burstyn's devotion to the NYT crossword.
"Reinhart's Women" by Thomas Berger - Carl Reinhart does some cooking and much blundering and pondering in this fourth novel in a series. I have no desire to read the others or spend more time with Reinhart's dysfunctional family. This is considered literary fiction but the dialogue and characters didn't seem quite real.
"Fortune's Hand" by Belva Plain - People on Amazon weren't crazy about this, but I thought it flew by. Farm-bred Robb planned to marry his childhood sweetheart and settle down to an idyllic country life with perfect kids... and what happened was pretty much the opposite.