Of course, you can’t fault someone for answering mother nature’s call when it comes so insistently, especially after guzzling several bottles of water to wash down various disgusting foodstuffs. However, the decision to take a pee break cost that team a decent shot at $1 million on The Amazing Race, and put the redheads back in the game after they were so close to elimination. For the first time that I can remember, the cameras weren’t lying about how close things were at the end. It wasn’t a conjured up bit of suspense. It’s down to the final three, and I wouldn’t be upset if any of them one, although I think Margie and Luke, Victor and Tammy have been consistently stronger throughout than Jamie and Cara.
I finished and submitted the short story I’ve been working on for the past week. It came in at 4800 words, down from 5500 at its peak. I probably went through seven or eight drafts over the weekend, tightening, smoothing, polishing, rewording. On my last pass before submitting it, I found a typo that had probably been there from the beginning, an instance of “that” which should have been “than.” Makes me wonder what other things I missed. I’ve been complimented often enough on how clean my submissions are that it’s now a point of pride with me, and I’m almost obsessive about it. Almost.
Getting that story off my to-do list means that I don’t have anything else imminently due. I have my regular deadlines (Storytellers Unplugged coming up) and two other projects that have long-term deadlines, both of which I’d like to get tidied up this month. One is a short story that I’m re-re-revising for an invitation to an anthology. The other is a group of short essays for a non-fiction project. I have three to write, a grand total of 2000 words, but they require a fair amount of research.
We watched Frost/Nixon this weekend. I wanted to see it when it came out, but was otherwise occupied. I’m old enough to remember the Watergate hearings when they were televised, but I didn’t really understand the significance at the time. A lot of people who play Nixon in movies come off as parodies or lampoons. Even Anthony Hopkins, who I respect greatly as an actor, didn’t quite pull it off. Frank Langella deserved the Oscar for his performance. He doesn’t imitate Nixon, he becomes him. The physical resemblance is weak, but there are moments during the final interview when you almost see Nixon in his face. The most powerful moment for me, the most dramatic piece of acting, was the close-up on his face in the moment after Frost asks him “What about the American people?” You can read everything that is going through Nixon’s mind in that moment, an almost absurd realization that he probably hadn’t ever considered that until that point.
In a similar vein, the last ten or so minutes of this week’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent consisted of a similar kind of duel, with the telling moment coming closer to the end when the suspect realized that he had killed his brother under the mistaken assumption that his brother wanted something from him when, in fact, his brother wanted only to atone for a mistake before he died. Kudos for not tying up all the loose ends. Eames found out where the gun was–that’s all we needed to know. We didn’t need to see them dredge it up, and we didn’t need to see Goran whip it out during the interrogation. They trusted the audience to put that all together for themselves.
The Jeff Goldblum episode from last week was good, too, although his partner still doesn’t quite know what to make of him. The confrontation in that one was fiendishly ambiguous going into it–the audience was meant to suspect one party or the other, when in fact it was both of them, a fact that Goldblum had laid the groundwork for earlier.