Today was a pretty typical Sunday, although I woke up a little earlier than I might have liked and made the unwise decision to stay up, and I’ve been kind of regretting it all day. Luckily I still have tomorrow to regain a little of the sleep I missed, thanks to the three-day weekend.
What did I do with that extra time this morning if not sleep? you might very well not be asking. Well, I did the Sunday crossword, and I watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica.
I stopped watching the series about halfway through its last season — tellingly, I think, halfway between the [spoiler] mutiny two-parter, which should have been the show at its strongest and most exciting. (Mutiny! Aboard Galactica! Who will live and who will die? Tune in next week to…ah, nah.) But I’d been losing patience with the show for a long time, often finding individual episodes reasonably gripping but never adding up to anything in the whole, and moreover than not making really stupid plot and character decision. (See Battlestar Galactica RPG. Totally planned!) And I continued to hear bad things about the show and how it ended. Still, this wasn’t like of those shows I’d consciously given up on — like House or, more recently, Dexter. I’ve always, kind of, meant to finishing watching it, if only to be cognizant of the ending and be able to stop tip-toeing around spoilers. I mean, I was only seven episodes away from the end.
So, anyway, now I’m six. I guess I’ll keep watching, slowly but surely, inching ever closer to what I’m sure will be an interesting but nevertheless spectacular disappointment.
I also watched a bunch of Red Dwarf episodes. That I’ve never actually watched the series in full is, I think, a point of some geek shame. I’m still well in the series of the show I have seen, but they’re all on Netflix, so that makes for some easy viewing.
Later in the day, I joined my friend Maurice for our weekly free-writing group, and came up with this in the forty minutes we allotted ourselves:
“It is not our policy to…um, well, how can I put this delicately?”
The dean of admissions was usually such a forthright man, a man of decisive (if often considerably ill-advised) action. He hemmed and hawed and held his tongue for no one, always speaking his mind — or at least whatever functioning gray bits a trio of advanced degrees from obscure universities and thirty-some years in this job had left him with. But this man, the one seated uncomfortably behind the dean’s mammoth oak desk, well, he might as well be an imposter. Davis spent the better half of each semester doing damage control for the dean’s office, issuing clarifications and corrections and apologies; heaven knew it was tiring work, but right now he’d prefer that dean to this fidgety, hesitant, overly politic version. If ever there was a situation that called out for the dean’s usual blind-elephant-in-a-china-shop strategy, Davis thought, it was this one.
“I think what the dean’s trying to say, Mr. and Mrs. Wellington,” he told the couple across the desk from them, “is your son’s a zombie and we don’t enroll the dead.”
Mr. Wellington, a stocky mustached man whose entire frame and bearing seemed designed for bristling at things, bristled at this.
“Now wait just a minute there!” he shouted.
“We prefer not to use the Z word around the house,” said Mrs. Wellington. Physically she was her husband’s opposite — save for the mustache, Davis noted wryly — but they were obviously of one mind on this.
“We both just want what’s best for Nathan,” she added — never mind, Davis thought, that “best” was a shotgun blast to the back of the head and a quick burial, decapitation and cremation to be sure. “He’s a good student and we’d hate to see him suffer any more over this.”
“And besides,” said Mr. Wellington, who had obviously not finished his day’s quota of bristling, “he’s already enrolled in your damn school. This is where he got bitten.”
Oh, thought Davis. That might explain things — why the Wellingtons had been granted this meeting with the notoriously unreachable dean, for one, but also why the dean himself was being so hesitant to turn their request down. There was nothing about the origin of Nathan Wellington’s zombie-ism in the main file, but campus health services were frequently spotty in this area. Officially, the university would neither confirm nor deny an outbreak on campus; coeds went missing, only to be discovered staggering out of some alley dead-eyed and soulless, their flesh mottled, ash-gray, and gnawed-on, for all kinds of reasons. There was no reason to start wily-nily throwing around what Mrs. Wellington had so neatly called “the Z word.”
But if Nathan Wellington had been bitten and turned into one of the walking undead on campus…well, Davis didn’t even want to think of the potential lawsuit that might turn into. Re-admitting him to his undergraduate studies might lead to all sorts of other complications — could they keep him contained? would his rotting cerebral cortex throw off his coursework and the curve? — but…
Then this evening, I watched Moneyball, which is where the quote up top comes from. It’s a pretty decent movie, and a great story. I’m a little surprised to see it on a number of “Best of 2011” movie lists; Pitt gives a decent enough performance, and I like the naturalism of both him and the rest of the cast, but I’m not sure it’s a remarkable movie. Solidly entertaining, a great underdog sports story, and a dream come true if (unlike me) you revel in sports statistics. But I don’t know that I’d put it at the top of any top-ten list.
So that, more or less was my Sunday.
Oh, there was the black cat that was making horrible noises outside just before dinner. I think it might have been in heat — or perhaps already, shall we say, enjoying another feline’s company — but it was difficult to tell. It might have been cold — it’s gotten very cold lately — or hungry or hurt. I briefly went looking for it in the backyard, but opening the back door onto the pitch-black in search of a noisy cat, it occurred to me that I am the guy who dies in a horror movie. I locked the door and went back inside. The cat seemed fine, from the brief glimpse I caught of it from my bedroom window, and at a guess it was the feline companionship thing it was after.
Okay, so that was Sunday. Now, I think, to bed.