I'm still trying to line up a cat sitter for a holiday trip, but not having too much success yet. I called my vet, and was told that one of their technicians does cat sitting on the side. I talked with him, and was a bit dubious, especially since he said I'd only be his fourth client. I asked if there are cat sitting companies in the area, and he said no, mainly just vet technicians do cat sitting on the side.
Well, Bill and his wife Julie recommended their cat sitter, which is a company, which needless to say didn't make me more inclined to go with the first guy. Unfortunately, they don't cover my area of the bay. So I was bummed about that. I looked in the Yellow Pages and found a list of about 12 places that are more-or-less in my area, so clearly such places do exist around here. Hmf.
I'd like to find a place with a recommendation from someone, though, rather than picking one blindly. So I've been asking around work, and have two leads. One is from a woman who lives some distance from me, so, again, I'm dubious that they'd come down here. The other is from another woman who lives in my area (generally speaking) who says her neighbor does cat sitting. So hopefully she can put me in touch with her neighbor next week and that will work out. I hope so!
Argh. This seems more complicated than it should be.
I've limped through the rest of the week - no surprise there, I expect. Spent Wednesday evening reading this week's comic books and watching two thoroughly unremarkable episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. They weren't downright offensive, as some of the really stupid "second generation" Trek episodes are, and I guess they were good background noise. But the best I can say about them is, "Man, the productions values are so good, imagine what they could do if they had some solid writing!"
Thursday I caught up on some of my taped television. Watched the Doctor Who episode "The Leisure Hive", which was the first episode of Tom Baker's final season as The Doctor. It's a good episode which kicks off a very good season, and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of it. It's been a really long time since I watched Doctor Who much.
(Incidentally, it occurred to me that this season of DW - the 18th - begins with The Doctor and Romana on Earth, and once they leave early in the story, The Doctor doesn't return to Earth until the end of the final episode of the season. Wonder if that was deliberate?)
We've had more rain the last couple of days, which has been nice as a change of pace. I rather wish we were having torrential downpours, as a change of pace, but I guess such things - especially of the thunderstorm variety - are pretty rare here. And when they happen, there are landslides and other unpleasant things. Still, we did have a bit of a rainbow visible from my window during work today, and that was nice. I remember seeing a full rainbow - the complete 180-degree arc - last spring. Hopefully I'll see more.
Finally, to top off what's basically been a miserable week, I seem to have caught a cold. I have a scratchy throat, I'm constantly drinking fluids, and my nose is runny. Wonderful.
Tonight, Bill and I went to see the new James Bond film, The World is Not Enough, but unfortunately it was already sold out when we got there, so instead we saw the new Tim Burton film, Sleepy Hollow, based on the old Headless Horseman story.
In 1799, New York constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is sent to the village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitation murders of three citizens in the last two weeks. He arrives and meets Katrina Van Tassel (the delicious Christina Ricci, although I know she's not to everyone's taste), the daughter of one of the wealthy citizens, and learns the legend of the Headless Horseman, a fierce warrior who terrorized the countryside and was finally ambushed and killed twenty years earlier. He's now supposedly back from the dead to wreak vengeance on the locals.
Crane is a proto-Sherlock Holmes type, although he's also a bit of a coward. Regardless, he certainly doesn't believe in ghosts and figures there's a down-to-earth explanation. Yet, he witnesses further murders - decapitations in which the head is stolen afterwards - and has no explanation. Finally, he decides to find the Horseman's grave, and things soon take a turn for the eerie.
As is usually the case with Burton's films, it's very stylish, but the story doesn't always make sense. This film is not too bad in that department, though; there's a clear motivation behind the Horseman's actions which Crane reasons out, although his investigative skills are pretty weak, as it takes him quite a while to follow up on the victims' background and relationships; he resorts to following the supernatural trail first, which seems out of character. And, the plans of the villain seem a little over-complex, the plans-within-plans seeming somewhat unnecessary.
But, the production values are outstanding, as Sleepy Hollow itself is wonderfully portrayed (I wonder if it's a real town, or if they built it all? Or if it's CGI?), as is the near-perpetual twilight look of the village. The special effects are only occasionally intrusive; usually they're restrained and work well. The acting is generally quite good (Ian McDiarmid and Michael Gough have roles), although Depp himself has a tendency to overact, especially by giving over-emphatic speeches. Danny Elfman's score is quite good, and I am by no means a fan of Elfman's film scores generally, usually finding them muddled and undramatic.
The film is quite bloody, and is not a kid's film. The beheadings are, well, not really focused on, but we do see them, and we see plenty of headless bodies, and there's just several gruesome scenes. It's not gory - it doesn't fawn over the blood like a slasher flick does, but it's not for the squeamish. I don't think the gory bits are really out-of-place, however.
Overall, I think Sleepy Hollow actually works out well. I think it would have been improved if Crane had been a somewhat more confident figure, as his lack of confidence doesn't seem to serve the story except for comic relief. I'm sure Burton and company were unhappy it didn't come out in time for Hallowe'en, though, as it's a fine work for that season. Check it out.