I'm sorry to say, my mood hasn't improved much since my last post. The last item of business I conducted before leaving work was to talk to the IT guy who was working on my dead Mac laptop. The hard disk wouldn't spin up, and he tried extracting the data in raw form, but said, rather pitilessly, that the software he was using estimated the time it would take as "more than a week." My only hope now is an outside data-recovery service, which may be more trouble and expense than it's worth.
I'm going to take this in the spirit of someone whose house has just burnt down, and who has lost all his possessions -- it's a Clean Slate, a time for renewal. In my Stages of Grief, I have gone past Bargaining and am fast approaching Acceptance. I have a lot of work ahead of me reconfiguring this new Mac to get it as well-ordered and useful as the old one, and some of that's actually fun.
It's either that or suicide.
I took Kevin Wolf's advice yesterday and hopped on the Triumph for a head-clearing spin, which worked a treat. I felt great afterward. Motorcyclists, I now find, have a rather puerile custom of waving to each other as they pass in traffic. The technique is not the dullard's hand up in the air, flapping your fin like a circus seal; rather, you hold your left hand down below the handlebar, index finger coolly extended in the direction of your boon-brother-outlaw-of-the-road. With each bike I passed, I couldn't suppress the thought: Cooler than yours. Cooler than yours. Much cooler than yours.
I imagine I'll stop this disgusting Triumphalism (har!) sometime along about the moment I'm stranded in the rain somewhere 100 miles from home, in need of a Whitworth bolt last manufactured in 1968. That's as may be, Brother Outlaw, but mine starts reliably...
Caught the Bourne Ultimatum with Freddie last night. Wasn't expecting much, but was quite pleasantly surprised. Paul Greengrass's direction of action sequences (and all this flick is is action sequences -- when the wham-bang stops and people start talking it's eye-rollingly banal) packs a huge amount of information into bewilderingly fast-unfolding events. But you're never confused; you always have the facts you need to interpret the action you're seeing, no matter how fast it's zipping by. This is by no means a common trait among directors.
I also like Matt Damon's Jason Bourne, who fights to regain his humanity through the series. Unlike, say, Jack Bauer, who, despite all the scenery-chewing, you don't believe for a second has a coherent moral center under all that crustiness, Bourne's struggle is to find not only his identity but his motive in submitting to the torturous program that stripped him of it. He has to work to figure out how to do the right thing rather than killing like an automaton. That he even tries is a testament to his virtue. "Do you even know why you've been sent to kill me?" he asks a hit-man in the climactic scene -- a question that all too many people need to be asked nowadays.
You'll never convince me, though, that 145 71st Street backs onto the Hudson River.