Tuesday, December 31, 2002

It's 3 PM on New Year's Eve. I've been enjoying the top 40 classical countdown on wqxr.com all morning, including Mahler's Fifth Symphony, among the other highlights. It's quite a hit parade over there. It continues until midnight tonight, then resumes again tomorrow at 9 AM. I'll probably skip tomorrow's performances in favor of televised gridiron contests, however.

Liz and I spent a relaxing week in Mississippi, visiting her family and friends. We found out that her parents have substitute grandchildren: they know another couple that has two young girls, whom they babysit and lavish attention on, so it looks like we're off the hook for a while, which is fine with us. I also got to meet and spend time with Liz's high school and summer theater camp friends, all of whom I'd known only via e-mail until last week. And I got to see The Two Towers and Star Trek: Nemesis again. Nemesis wasn't any better on the second viewing, but it wasn't any worse. I enjoyed TTT even more the second time. I approached it as a war movie, along the lines of the great black & white WWII epics of the 1940s and 1950s, and that made it even more impressive than before. I agree with some of the critics who say that Peter Jackson has sacrificed the hobbits' stories for the sake of the Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli plotline, but who can blame him? A three-hour characters study of the hobbits would be mildly interesting but audiences want to see the depiction of the Helm's Deep battle, and on that score, Jackson does not disappoint. Even knowing what happens to the Elves durign the battle doesn't detract from the thrill of seeing them when they arrive at the fortress in their armor and marching in formation. The battles of the Pelennor Fields and the Black Gate in ROTK should be unbelieveable, if Helm's Deep is any indication.

In case this is my last entry for 2002, have a happy New Year. See you on the other side in 2003.

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