Monday, March 30, 2015


So our weekend was pretty good.  The weather was beautiful!!

On Friday night we watched the Roger Ebert documentary, Life Itself.  The documentary was pretty good, for the most part.  I learned a lot about Roger Ebert's background, his approach to film criticism, and about the background behind At the Movies, the film review show that Ebert hosted with Gene Siskel.
I watched At the Movies quite a bit when I was growing up.  Back then, of course, you couldn't just pull up film trailers on the internet, so I liked watching At the Movies to get a sense of what was going to be coming out.  I also liked At the Movies because I loved watching Siskel and Ebert argue.  I was fascinated by the fact that two intelligent men who each had such a great amount of knowledge in their subject area could frequently disagree so profoundly about the value of various movies.  I loved the fact that you could tell, as an audience member, that these two guys were really passionate about their arguments, and were genuinely annoyed with one another when they didn't see eye-to-eye.  I liked the fact that they both really wanted to prove the other person wrong, but they agreed (mostly) to stick to a common language of reason and logical analysis as being the confines of their battlefield.  Long before I ever even thought about going to law school, I remember watching Siskel and Ebert go at it, and I sort of realized that a good amount of fun could be had by trying to win a debate against an opponent in front of an audience.  In addition, the show made me realize that, ultimately, being right or wrong in an argument about film (or art- or a great many other topics) is decided by supporting personal opinions with reason.  You can have pretty different viewpoints about a film, and each person can still be right insofar as he can present a compelling, logical argument and explain why a thing is good or bad.
Anyway, At the Movies had a special place in my childhood.
The one drawback of Life Itself, I felt, was that it spent a little too much time focusing on Ebert's health difficulties at the very end of his life.  I don't mean to take anything away from Roger Ebert and the courage that he and his family showed during his illness and ultimate death, but I feel like the thing that made Roger Ebert remarkable was the life that he led- not the way that he died. 
And he had a very interesting life.

Saturday we went out to breakfast, ran an errand or two, and then spent much of the day around the house doing chores.  I trimmed hedges and did a little yard work, and the weather was so beautiful that it felt sort of fun.  We went for some walks, got a little exercise, and had a very pleasant day.  Saturday night I went to Ryan and Jamie's 40th birthday party.  It was fun!  I got to catch up with some folks, eat some good food, and relax.  Amy stayed home due to an achy back and some general pregnancy-related fatigue.    I hung out at the party for a little while and then headed home.  It was a good time.
(Ryan leads the tour of his comic collection and toasts his birthday)

Happy birthday, Ryan and Jamie!!

Sunday we got up and ran to the store.  We got some exercise, and in the afternoon we dropped by a birthday party that our friends Rosa and Nathan were throwing for their children and their family.  It was a nice event.  The weather was sunny and nice, and the company was good.  We ran into the Blooms, Giselle, and Jennifer and David at the party as well.  It was a nice time.

Sunday evening I had band practice.  It was good.  We were all in attendance.  We played some old tunes.  Somehow we pulled off a version of "Bertha" by the Grateful Dead that was much better than we deserved.

(Reed photographs Reed before band practice)
And that was more or less our weekend.  It was pretty nice.  You gotta love Austin in the spring.

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