Monday, 18 August 1997:

Maps and Planets

Today I received two maps I had ordered from Raven Maps. They're beautiful! I bought the United States map and the Wisconsin state map. Each map is colored with the topographic formations of its depicted territory, and includes rivers, lakes, cities, major roads, and detail like airports and even the locks along the Mississippi River!

Although my apartment is hardly spartan, I have very little up on the walls. I'm not much for "art" (I don't object to it, it's just not my thing), but when I received Raven's catalog in the mail, I decided that a couple of nicely framed maps would be just the thing. Now I just have to go get them framed; I ordered the laminated version of the maps because I don't intend to put them under glass.

Actually, I do have one thing on my wall: A US flag that my ex-girlfriend sewed for me. It's a nice piece of work. Upon seeing it, another friend of mine cautiously asked, "You're not going to start stockpiling weapons and ammunition, are you?" I replied, "You just say that because the conservatives have co-opted the flag as their symbol!" Which is exactly why I have the flag on my wall: As a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, I want to show that you can lean to the left and be a patriot, too.

I don't watch many movies; I may have mentioned this before. There's a very nice video store downtown - Four Star Video Heaven - which I patronize once in a while, but there's also a video store on my drive home, which is more convenient. This latter store used to be called Doorstep Video, and was quite nice, but a year or two ago it was bought out by the chain Planet Video. I finally decided tonight to go in and get a card so I can avail myself of the convenience.

I half-wonder why I bothered; their selection is terrible, and is a huge step down from its predecessor. Moreover, I've wanted to see the film Glory for a while now, ever since Reel suggested that I'd like it, based on other films I've liked. But even Four Star doesn't have it. Geez!

(Aside: I'm a fan of the Rock Hudson TV adaptation of Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, and Four Star has the first volume of that mini-series, but not the other two. Argh!)

But I did end up renting A Passage To India, which is a good film, although not a great one. Boy, Alec Guinness can play just about any role under the sun, can't he? The plot was perhaps a little too obvious, but the actor playing Aziz was just a joy to watch, with the energy and range he brought to the role. I'll probably rate it a 7-out-of-10 on Reel.

So now maybe I'll rent and watch more movies; it beats wasting all my time on the Internet, eh? Besides, they're showing The Fifth Element at the $1.75 theatre, and although I suspect it's low-grade entertainment at best, the price is right...

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