Friday, June 20, 2008

"Hey Hugo!"

Yesterday was Thursday, which meant that I had someone to watch Justin for five hours. It’s a weekly thing now, which enables me to catch a movie once in a while, or to attend a freethinker’s meet-up. Last night I saw The Visitor at the Harvard Exit. This is the second film written and directed by Tom McCarthy, whose wonderful debut film was The Station Agent, which I’ve seen at least a half dozen times by now. The Visitor is a wonderfully quiet film about a college professor, who drives down from Connecticut to New York City to give a talk at a conference, only to find that his apartment in NYC had been illegally rented to a couple about two months before. The couple staying at his apartment are illegal aliens: a woman from Senegal and a man from Syria. Like The Station Agent, The Visitor keeps its story focused on the relationships that build between these people from disparate backgrounds. A musical friendship is formed between the stodgy widowed professor and the young man from Syria, who happens to play the drum. I can see why this film has been at the Harvard Exit for over two months now. It’s a special film that reveals the human side of Homeland Security’s crackdown on illegal immigrants.

I’m about one-hundred pages into Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Death by Black Hole. I keep thinking that I’ll set it aside at some point to start a novel, but I can’t seem to decide on what fiction I want to read next. Tyson’s book of essays is a nice diversion before I delve into something heavy like the shady past of John McCain (The Real McCain), or another book on religious history and criticism. I enjoyed reading a couple of classics recently (Wuthering Heights and All Quiet on the Western Front), but I cannot seem to decide on what novel to read next. I keep browsing through various titles like Was by Geoff Ryman, Peace by Gene Wolfe, and other books that are lying about my room.

I have two films from Netflix to watch soon. One is The Other Boleyn Girl and the other is Eagle vs. Shark. As much as I like (is “lust” a more apt term?) both Scarlet Johansson and Natalie Portman, I think I may just skip The Other Boleyn Girl. It was more my wife Jen that wanted to see it. I’m more psyched to see Eagle vs. Shark, now that I’ve become a fan of the HBO series Flight of the Conchords.

I gave Justin a bath tonight and he seemed ready to go to bed afterwards. He’s still lying in bed, listening to his new audio version of the Frog and Toad tales by Arnold Lobel. I have expected him to be awake until nine or ten tonight, since he slept for about three and a half hours today, but he seems ready to sleep. He did wake up at five this morning, which was about three hours too early for his daddy. We went to the library earlier today and stopped at the toddler playground, which is situated behind the library. There were a couple of three-year-old boys there (“We’re almost four!”) who had been playing with an imaginary friend named “Hugo.” When Justin arrived they claimed that he was “Hugo” and proceeded to call him that for the remainder of the time they were there. Their mother tried in vain to get them to say “Goodbye Justin” when they left, but they insisted on “Hugo.” I found it quite funny myself.

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