Seems like lately when I get sick, the main symptoms are exhaustion and inability to think clearly. Yesterday it really hit—I woke up and then fell asleep again at 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., then woke up at 9 and had to get up for an appointment despite being thoroughly exhausted. Stayed home from work; took a nap in the afternoon that ended up lasting about two and a half hours, and again woke up two or three times and was completely wiped out each time. Was largely off email all day; sorry to those of you I owe mail to. Went to bed much earlier than usual (due to inability to keep eyes open), slept longer than usual, woke up still tired but not quite as tired as yesterday. Bad dreams on and off—during yesterday's nap, had two dreams involving stomach injuries, including getting shot. (No stomach pain in real life; dunno what that was about.)

In other news, Mouse II: Bride, Husband, Daughter, or Son of the Mouse has opened at a theatre very near me. (I'm assuming that this is not Return of the Mouse, as the place I dropped it off is maybe ten miles away, and my house is not that desirable a mouse home—it would be a sort of Incredible Journey for the mouse set. Not to be confused with Fantastic Journey nor Fantastic Voyage.) I saw the new mouse twice on Wednesday night; once it fled across the kitchen counters and escaped down the hole in the burner pan in the stove, then a bit later it fled across the kitchen floor and escaped up into a tiny space underneath the dishwasher. I know I could block up these holes with tinfoil, but I don't want to force the mouse into hiding; I want it to come out and get trapped. Also, none of these spaces are accessible to humans without taking apart major appliances with a wrench, and I imagine they're all interconnected through a network of mouse secret passageways. Anyway, new mouse is thoroughly ignoring the traps. I'm hoping to catch it the same way as the last one, with an enticing trash bag full of squeaky styrofoam nesting material, but we'll see.

In other other news, Kam did some work around the house yesterday while I was napping: first some gardening type stuff (I seem to have neglected to mention that she and her father did an amazing job of dealing with my yard and pruning my rosebushes a couple weeks back), then tearing down the chain-link fence that the previous owners of the place had set up to make a dog run out of half the yard (which required digging out two deeply embedded chunks of concrete), then cleaning the kitchen. I was very impressed and extremely grateful. Thank you, Kam! I wish I'd had the presence of mind to take before, during, and after photos of the fence. (And of the kitchen.)

We decided to go couch-shopping that evening. I was just barely awake enough to go out to dinner, so we did, but service was unusually slow and by the time dinner was over it was quarter to nine, and the furniture store we'd planned to go to closed at nine. Possibly just as well, since I'm not sure I would've made the best possible decisions last night.

One other tidbit: Somewhere in the midst of the last few days I had just barely enough brain capacity to watch Winchester '73. Not bad, not great. A few very funny moments. Extremely anticlimactic climax. Netflix describes it as "Perhaps the pinnacle in the series of Anthony Mann/Jimmy Stewart Westerns"; that may be true (it certainly has the highest IMDB rating among those films), but it seems an odd way to put it, since it was the first of their movies together. I haven't yet seen the others: Bend of the River, The Naked Spur, Far Country, Man from Laramie. (Actually, I'm not sure whether I've seen that last one.) Mostly I'm interested in the J.S. Westerns on the strengths of (a) my liking for Stewart; (b) my liking for Destry Rides Again (much earlier) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and especially The Shootist (much later) (and all three by different directors); and (c) general good reputation. But if Winchester really was the best of the Stewart/Mann ones, I may skip the rest of those.

I think that's all for now. Gonna try going in to work today, though since I have my work computer at home it's tempting to just work here again. Tonight, dinner with David VS and David H; tomorrow, a memorial service; busy with related stuff through the rest of the weekend. Don't know when I'll have time to read submissions or edit stories.

3 Responses to “Updates”

  1. Karen

    The three you name are far and away the best Westerns Jimmy Stewart was in, by my lights. Some people seem to feel affection for “How the West Was Won” and consider to have a kind of epic scope, but I find it dull, corny, and badly dated. “Cheyenne Autumn”, another collaboration with John Ford, may be worth seeing as an unusual and interesting entry in the genre, though also very dated and flawed.

  2. David Moles

    I have to admit I haven’t seen any of Stewart’s westerns (except maybe on TV when I was a kid), but I think he would have been rather good in A Fistfull of Dollars.

  3. Jed

    Thanks! I’m obliquely reminded that I forgot to mention some amusing casting in Winchester: Rock Hudson plays Indian chief Young Bull, and Tony Curtis has a part so small I never did figure out which character he was. I was particularly amused that Netflix converted those facts into a note that the movie is “co-starring” those two actors.

    David: Now I want to see an irrational history in which an aging James Stewart ends up with bits of Clint Eastwood’s career. The Man Without a Name in the Leone Westerns is in his fifties instead of his thirties; Dirty Harry is in his early sixties instead of his early forties….


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