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Sunday, May 09, 2004

Weekend Update

Did anything happen on Saturday? I can't remember. Must have been a quiet day. No, wait, it was quite the opposite. First, I sold the motorcycle. I nearly got my asking price, which qualifies as both a minor miracle and a good deal for the buyer. The classic transaction where everyone was happy: I got rid of a valuable asset I wasn't using at all, he got a good deal on a good project.

It's a bit melancholy to finally have parted with my Yamaha FZR 400. That thing was always a sweet, sweet bike, with handling aplenty and power enough. I rode that bike to California and back, I rode that bike as daily transport for years, I rode that bike like crazy. And then in Fall 2000, I busted a chain, was short of cash, was newly married, and I didn't really have the wherewithal to put it back on the road. So it sat in a shed for months, then years.

The guy who bought it showed up, looked it over, gave me the agreed price in cash (he was pretty confident of closing the deal at his price, I'd say), and he carted the bike away. It was the easiest vehicle transaction I've ever had. I'm glad someone has bought it who will clearly fix up and enjoy the machine. It deserves no less.

Then it was yardwork aplenty. I got to play with a 2-stroke gas trimmer, which was hilariously powerful (it was an industrial model, complete with body harness) and despite some serious fussiness with the "auto-feeding" line system, it just knocked over anything it touched. It made yard work into entertainment.

Sunday was more memorable, by virtue of being today. After morning Mass, Proximate Drea and I rode up SFU and back down. I outrode Drea on the ascent, easy to do since my bike is light and my cardio is honed and I had clipless pedals.

Then we went to go down Nicole's, and Drea just rode away. Easy to do since the Proximate one's bike is full-suspension and my technique is poor and I had clipless pedals. It was quite a lesson, since Drea has ridden that trail twice, and I have ridden it a few more times than that. Drea expressed it as a liking for steep drops, and demonstrated that such obstacles pose no problem.

I'm not so good at steep descents. I think I'll blame my brakes. Yes. The brakes.

Then Drea got a horrible surprise when we realized the wonderful full-suspension bike had a loose rear wheel. Which is a good thing to discover when we did (on the ride home, on pavement, due to a funny clunk in the driveline) but a bad thing to have period.

After that lovely ride, a little cleaning, a little greeting of Mom (who sensibly retreated up to Cultus Lake for the day), and a bit of pottering. Over dinner, The Lovely One and I re-watched Lost In Translation. There's a knock on that movie that it didn't translate (er...) well from theatre to video.

TLO and I loved it once again, I recalling why such a slow-paced, melancholy film sucked me in (hint: it's because so much of that movie is uncontrived and feels real; the only really false scene seemed to be the brief physical-comedy interlude featuring Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and the exercise machine, and even that was pretty plausible) and how good Murray's performance was. It was superbly low-key, not a chewed scene in the entire movie.

But why the video disappointment for some viewers? If I may be vague, there's a very simple airiness about the way this movie was shot and paced. On the big screen, this stuff works okay, and there's no distractions. On video, the viewing environment is usually more distractng, and this film is slow-paced enough that it doesn't fight off distractions particularly well.

When wondering whether Bill Murray or Sean Penn should have won Best Actor this year, I point out one thing I feel pretty confident about: in five years, Lost In Translation will have a strong cult following and be well-regarded and will age pretty well. Mystic River will be just another feel-bad movie with all the rewatchability of Gandhi and all the cult following of Kramer Vs. Kramer.

Then ouzo, now bed.

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