Not as good as Owen Meany or A Widow for One Year but there are some very funny parts. I’d never really noticed before Irving’s talent for slapstick. Some scenes are so visual, I feel like I’m in a Marx Brothers movie.
We’ve been enjoying this series for quite some years now. Lorrie Moore picked this collection, and a very nice one it is. Stories I especially liked: “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” by Sherman Alexie, “Intervention” by Jill McCorkle, and “All Saints Day” by Angela Pneuman.
John Irving’s first novel feels a little green to me, but only in comparison to the brilliant work he’s done since.
Apparently, I have help I never knew about. A whole team in fact. Got this spam this morning:
You have successfully updated the password of your Peknet account.
If you did not authorize this change or if you need assistance with your account, please contact Peknet customer service at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for using Peknet! The Peknet Support Team
+++ Attachment: No Virus (Clean) +++ Peknet Antivirus – www.peknet.com
Insidious. Lots of unsuspecting folks will bite at that one, if it happens to come from a real ISP (which peknet is not). There was even a virus attached as a zip file. Do these people have anything better to do?
I always tell my clients to do a backup. Of course, none of them do. Until that day when their hard drive fails. It’s not a question of if it fails, I tell them, but when. Usually it only takes that one staggering, painful experience to scar them into becoming Backup Believers. Usually.
Today one of the hard drives in my Linux server, which hosts this site, failed on me. It was the main root filesystem drive. It had been spinning nearly non-stop for over four years. That’s decent, I think. The other drive that I bought at the same time is still going strong (at least, it is as of this minute).
Fortunately, I had a backup system in place, with redundant hard drives in the machine. I don’t use a RAID (which I probably should), but instead rely on regular rsync backups from the main drives to a couple backup drives. I think I have 5 hard drives in that machine (yes, it gets warm).
Once I discovered the failed drive, I was back up in an hour. It should have taken less time, but I had never practiced the restore before, and there was a little trouble booting from the mirror. But I prevailed. Up and at ’em again. What a relief. Not what I expected to be doing today. What I expected to be doing was digging post holes in my backyard. Hard to say which I ended up preferring…
Saw episode III yesterday with my wife and our young friend. I feel the same kind of disappointment everyone seems to feel with these first 3 episodes of the long saga.
Sure, my formative years were shaped by the original trilogy. I was 5 when the first Star Wars came out. Saw it three times in one week in the theater during its re-release a few years later. My Lego adventures revolved around Luke and Han Solo.
The thing that helped make the first 3 so myth-like and epic was that I felt dropped into the middle of something much bigger than I was. There were many unexplained things just presented as part of the story: the robots escaping to the planet in the middle of a battle; a mysterious princess asking for help from an even more mysterious magical man in a hood; a simple farm boy told his father was someone special but killed by an evil lord; a quest; a rebellion; the Force. Nothing was explained; everything mattered.
In these latest three episodes, everything is explained, and nothing seems to matter. It’s a tragic story, how one wounded man wounds everyone around him, and finally the whole universe. But we know it ends happily. Everything is explained; and so, nothing really matters. No mysteries are left lying about to confuse or mess the tidy universe of Lucas’ making. All questions are answered in the end: how Anakin becomes Vader; what the Force is, exactly; how the Jedi die; even down to how Obi Wan can commune from beyond the grave.
Don’t get me started on the dialogue. So wooden.
I realized that part of what made the first 3 so good was the chemistry between Han Solo and Leia. I’d go so far as to say that Harrison Ford made the first trilogy as good as it was. He had a great character and he played him really well, made him breathe. He wasn’t a comic book caricature; Solo was a scoundrel, and a believable, lovable one.
I’ll watch them all again; and I’ll remind myself that it’s a good story, a comic book story. I’m disappointed, like everyone else, because I wanted Star Wars to explain something more about the world, my world. Instead, it explained everything very tidily about its own world. I guess I shouldn’t expect more. And because I do, that’s why I’m disappointed.