Thursday, June 24th, 2004
11:22 am - Media Overload  
Last evening ended with me having a wealth of stuff sitting upon my desk to either read, watch, or listen to. Stopped at the comic book store on the way home, and picked up the latest Astounishing X-Men, The Losers, and a Stargate SG-1 comic (of all things). X-Men was good, but the SG-1 book sucked. Apparently, it's some sort of special convention tie-in issue. The story is lame, and the art is horrendous.

Next up was the local library, where I grabbed their copy of Winter's Tale, along with DVDs of The Maltese Falcon and The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. This is the first time I've ever used my library card there. When I was growing up, I was in our hometown library all the time, and constantly had books checked out. Somewhere along the line in college or grad school I got out of the habit. Maybe it's because I was constantly required to be in the library for academic reasons, as opposed to pleasure. Also, the libraries I had access to were less about the general purpose knowledge, at least the general purpose knowledge I was interested in, and more about the academic specialties of the communities they were serving. Which makes sense considering that an academic library's mission is a bit different from a community library.

I did get a card for the Kingston library, because a friend of mine was a librarian there, and she harangued me into getting it. I only used it a few times, though. Part of it was that the Kingston library is much smaller than the library I grew up with, and it just didn't have the resources that my hometown library did. (Sidenote, my hometown library was the subject of a precedent setting court case about fifteen years ago. It's very odd to open a copy of Time, and find a story about your library in it. It's even odder to see that the case (which was primarily about whether a public library could enforce rules of conduct upon its patrons) has been used as a weapon against the imposition of internet censorship rules upon the libraries themselves.)

The other problem I had was getting books back on time. It takes me a awhile the read a novel. I never really had that problem growing up, because most of what I used the library for was non-fiction, something that's more amenable to reading a few chapters now, then a few chapters a month later and so on, so having a time limit wasn't really a deadline. I admit I had a brief flash of worry last night that I wouldn't be able to finish Winter's Tale within the three weeks alloted. Then I remembered that I only had to read the missing thirty-two pages from the library book. Duh.

The local library is also smaller than my hometown one, although it's bigger than Kingston, and it's shiny and modern, and I'm still not comfortable with it. The card catalog is online, and all the libraries in the state are now linked into one system, so I can use my card at any of them if I've a mind to. That's kind of useful. Also, they now have more DVDs than when I first signed up for my card a couple of years ago. That may become my main reason for going there.

When I got home, there was a package from a small CD importer with my copy of John Entwistle's Whistle Rhymes album. I mowed the lawn, and at some point while I was mowing the back yard, UPS dropped off a box from Amazon on my side stoop. Inside were 69 Love Songs, the Avenue Q soundtrack, and a copy of Wicked (the book).

I wound up watching The Maltese Falcon. The screenplay is taken almost verbatim from the book, which is sort of to be expected, because the book is written almost as though it was a screenplay. The only differences I noticed were the absence of the fat man's daughter, who really isn't all that important to the story, and the absence of any of the text regarding the relationship between Cairo and Cook, which isn't all that surprising. I enjoyed it better than the book, mostly because you get some visual cues from Bogart about what's going on in Spade's mind that aren't all that clear on the page. At least, not to me. The guy who played Miles Archer was also driving me crazy until I realized that he played the prosecutor in Miracle on 34th Street.
 
 
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