Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The English Patient

Yesterday on the train I finally finished reading The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. As anyone who's read my profile, this is one of my favorite movies, and I picked up a used copy of the book late last year and I've been reading it off and on since then. It's a very dense, poetic book, much like Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale (which I still haven't finished, so I guess that will have to wait another year). There are wonderful turns of phrase and stories contained in the book, such as Katharine's final wishes in the Cave of Swimmers, which stick out in my mind. But it's also a little difficult to follow because it jumps around in time and place a lot. If you know the movie as well as I do, it helps to keep you grounded on what's happening.

What is amazing about reading this book is how anyone could take it and turn it into any kind of coherent movie, let alone one that collected nine Oscars. That was quite a feat of screenwriting, yet surprisingly it didn't win for that category, although screenwriter/director Anthony Minghella won for Best Director. Frankly, I don't think I would have enjoyed the book as much if I didn't already love the movie.

In other news, I got my first jury summons last weekend, so I might be serving jury duty in early June. Not something I'm particularly looking forward to, but I guess it beats going to work. I was also in a courtroom yesterday in downtown New York for a client on a very large civil case involving one of my well-known clients. And I have to say, the New York courtrooms are so much nicer than the ones I've been in in Texas. But I guess my Texas court experience has been limited to family and traffic courts, and not the courtrooms where the CEOs fight for billions of dollars.

I forgot to mention on Monday that I had another encounter with Leatherman on the train coming in to work. The exact same thing happened as last time - he requested the middle seat, and the other guy who was sitting on the outside got up and left the seat vacant, and Leatherman just kept sitting in the middle seat rather than sliding over. He's determined to sit next to me, it seems. From now on I'm sitting at the front of the car instead of the middle to throw him off. What I really don't like about him is that he sits with his arms locked and hands on his kneecaps, so his arms intrude on my space. In fact, if I weren't on my guard, his right elbow would be touching my left boob. I wish he'd put his arms on his lap or hold his briefcase like a normal person. And that he'd wear less strong cologne!

I went to a free seminar about investing in real estate that was to be given at the LGBT Center on Monday, but the presenter never showed up. I waited for 30 minutes and then gave up. As I've probably mentioned, I'm thinking about buying a house here in New Jersey next year when my lease runs out, so I need to get smart about the process. Last time I bought a house in Houston, I had a lot of people helping me, including an aunt who is a realtor. This time I'm going to be on my own, although I'd like my family in New Jersey to be involved.

Speaking of the family, Tara is feeling much better now, although still worn out from the ordeal she's had to endure this past week. We had dinner last night and watched The Shawshank Redemption, another of our favorite movies. She wasn't really feeling up for fooling around, but I kind of forced her into it because after a week without snuggles, I was feeling super-horny. So after the movie we had a quick roll in the hay before I had to send her home.

Last week I got word that one of my old co-workers from my Houston PR firm was now working for one of my clients down in Houston. He was actually in the office next to mine during the last few months I was working in Houston, and we were pretty good friends. We met for lunch after I left the company and he gave me some job-hunting advice over hot dogs. So I called him up to congratulate him on his new position and catch up with the news from the old firm. We promised that we'd visit next time we were in Houston or New York together. Unlike the last guy from Houston who knew me in my former life, he's not creepy in that stalker-ish way - he's just a nice, normal guy, and I can trust him to be discreet with whatever I choose to share with him about my new life.

The weather is slowly warming up and spring is just around the corner. I'm rather itching to go outside and play some tennis, so if anyone wants to play, drop me a line. Once Tara feels better, I'm sure we'll start playing basketball again before it gets too hot. Plus, I am looking forward to all the great movies coming out this summer, starting with Iron Man this weekend!