We just finished building some new bookshelves for our living room. This added approximately twenty-four feet of new shelves to our collection and enabled us to stop cramming books on the shelves and start stacking them on the shelves. Now we need to come up with a better CD storage plan so that we can get the piles of CDs off the floor. The depressing part of the bookshelf project was seeing how little of a dent was made in our collection of books. One or two more trips to the used book store and we’ll need more bookshelves again. Guess we’ll just have to get serious about watching TV. Ha, ha, ha. Between Sarah and I, we saw quite a few movies this month. A hot and humid house with no furniture will do that to you, I guess. Capsule reviews follow. - My Big Fat Greek Wedding: By far the best movie we saw this month. Funny until it hurts. If you see no other movie in the next month, see this one.
- About a Boy: Normally, I’m not a Hugh Grant pusher, but this movie was good. Funny, but not slapstick-powered funny, which was a nice change of pace.
- Black Hawk Down: Is it too late to get Ridley Scott on the next ballot for President? The guy just keeps turning out masterpiece after masterpiece.
- The Bourne Identity: This movie wasn’t nearly as compelling as book. It was nice to see [Franka Potente](http://us.imdb.com/Name?
Potente,+Franka) again (I hadn’t seen her in anything after Run Lola Run, which was much better than this film).
- Amelie: Other people told us that the second half of this movie wasn’t as good as the first. Maybe we saw a different cut, but we found this movie to be entertaining in both halves. Subtitles.
- Mulholland Dr.: Maybe we didn’t “get” this movie, but we found it dull and a complete waste of our time.
- Changing Lanes: Almost worth the $2.50 that it cost me to see this at a bargain, second-run theater, almost. Predictable.
- Enigma: Spy story meets love story meets math story meets suspense story meets historical drama. Hard to classify; easy to watch. Might be a movie enjoyed by men more than women. [Tom Stoppard](http://us.imdb.com/Name?
Stoppard,+Tom) wrote the screenplay, for those who are interested.
- Road to Perdition: Another movie that men seem to enjoy more than women. I liked it; Sarah wasn’t bored by it. Other couples have said the same sort of thing.
We finally got our Madison phone book the other day. Our telephone service was connected by Ameritech (part of the telephone giant, SBC) on 01 Aug 02. Being new in town we would have benefited greatly from having a phone book. Hence, no phone book was forthcoming. In California, it is possible to pick up a phonebook or seventeen from a grocery store. That is not possible in WI. I tried calling the telephone company. They informed me that there was no way to pick up a telephone book. I asked how to get a phone book. They responded that I would get one within 14 calendar days of a new connection. I asked if I could order a phone book. They told me that it would take seventeen days to send me a phone book if I paid for it. So, I waited. In the interim, because we didn’t have our computers either, we made up lists of people and places we wanted to call, and then had phone book orgies at the mall (which had phone books with the payphones). 15 Aug 02 rolled around and still no phone book. So, I called again. Now the party line is that the phone company may take up to one month to deliver a phone book to my location so the only thing I can do is keep waiting (other than resorting to acts of theft). We went to a rummage sale at the Senior Center and saw a stack of phone books in the breezeway between the two sets of entrance doors. Inquiries with the senior center help revealed that those phone books were just waiting for a home because the phone company had helpfully delivered phone books to everyone at the senior center twice. We helped ourselves to a phone book. So, what does this tell you about advertising in the yellow pages? That it is probably money wasted. At the time when we were most likely to refer to the phone book for a categorized listing of services, companies, and phone numbers, it was impossible (except for a freak occurrence) for us to get a phone book to reference those same advertisements. On 10 Aug 02, I took a single roll of APS film to Senty foods (the nearest grocery store to our home) to be developed. After carefully filling out the film envelope, I dropped it in the drop-slot. Four days later, I checked with the service desk to see if my film had been returned yet. It had. The clerk rang up my total, which was fifty-percent higher than it should have been. I pointed this out to the clerk, who double-checked my assertion with her manual. I was right. We proceeded to puzzle out why the film was so expense. Ah. The developing company had given me double prints when all I’d asked for was single prints. The clerk told me that the roll of film would have to be sent back to the developing company, redeveloped, and then sent back to the store. I asked why the store couldn’t just charge me for single prints since the error clearly wasn’t mine and I wasn’t happy about waiting a week because someone else made a mistake and couldn’t distinguish between two different checkboxes. The clerk explained that this was the only thing she could do for me unless I was willing to pay the exorbitant double prints rate. So, back to the development company the film went. I proceeded to check in with the store every day to see if my film had returned yet. It seemed logical that the developing company wasn’t about to re-develop the film, but would just throw away every other picture, stamp a new price on the envelope, and send the film back. Every day, I checked. Every day, I was told there was no film for me. Now, over two weeks later, the developing company has “put a tracer” on my film because they don’t know where it is (don’t ask me how one puts a tracer on something not in one’s possession, unless one is misusing the noun “tracer”). Somehow, I seriously doubt that I will get my film back.