Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cold Weather and Not Much Else

After a very springlike January, winter has finally arrived with a vengeance here in the Land of Lincoln. It's been a weekend of frosty sub-zero and just above zero temperatures.

My winter doldrums are raging on as I huddle under my afghan and keep warm by doggedly making it through 4 seasons of "Sopranos" reruns. Well, not doggedly - that implies a sort of drudgery, and I'm having a great time with this series. I'm well into Season 4 now - Paulie Walnuts is out of jail, Adrianna is looking scared as her wedding approaches (since she may still be forced to testify against Christopher, even after they wed), Tony is mourning the suicide death of his former, crazy Mercedes-dealer girlfriend, and Carmela appears to have a crush on Furio. I am way hooked on this show - nearly every day for me ends with an episode of "The Sopranos." I can't say enough good things about the actors - particularly James Gandolfini whose nuanced and throughly inhabited performace as Tony is fresh and amazing week after week. Yes, I know I am shockingly late to the "Sopranos" party - but it is a lot of fun catching up.

Although I have banished bad carbs from my life since I last wrote (I'm now on Week 3 of the South Beach Diet and down almost 10 pounds!), other "winter doldrums" symptoms and behaviors remain intact - most notably a tendency to spend ridiculous amounts of time in the recliner with the TV remote in one hand and a can of Peach Fresca in the other.

Today's TV-watching adventures include "Evita" on HBO (Madonna is singing "You Must Love Me" even as I write this. Although I like her very much in this film, I hate her interpretation of this particular song. I think it is a much better song than her rendition would lead you to believe. She sings it tentatively - almost as if she is afraid of making a mistake- but the song is meant to be a last-ditch cri de couer, and it really needs to be sung by someone who will dive fearlessly into the strong, messy emotions behind its lyrics. It could be heart-stopping in the hands of a singer with stronger acting skills than Mrs. Ritchie's.)

Later tonight, some friends will join me to watch the British Academy Awards on BBC America. These are always a hoot - all the stars with almost none of the glitz. Or, least, just the British version of red-carpet glitz - and Brits really don't do 'glitz' very well, IMHO. Stephen Fry is the host, and he is so intellectual and compulsively multi-syllabic that I don't know what the hell he is talking about most of the time, but I love him anyway. I'll be back tomorrow with part 2 on the British awards - and some of my Oscar picks. I'm sure you'll all be awating this breathlessly.