Wednesday, December 15, 2004

“It is beyond my control.”

The Movie: Dangerous Liaisons, 1988 (Christopher Hampton, screenwriter, from his play, from the novel by Choderlos de Laclos; Stephen Frears, dir.)
Who says it: John Malkovich as the Vicomte de Valmont
The context: The Vicomte is brutally discarding his mistress, the formerly virtuous Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer).
How to use it: When you’re doing something terrible, and not apologizing.

I don't think I'm doing anything terrible today, but it's still early.

While I don't want to turn this blog into a weather report, I would like to note that it is 9 degrees outside my door this morning. Nine, as in one less than ten, as in 23 less than the freezing point, as in -13 Celsius, for those of you reading outside the United States.

And what 9 degrees is, is very, very, very cold. Very. Cold. Cold enough that Dizzy's chin whiskers were needle-thin icicles -- I'm not kidding -- when we got back from the cemetery this morning. Cold enough that when I took the turnpike up to Augusta last night, my window was frozen shut and I had to open my door to pay the toll.

It is interesting to notice how much colder 9 degrees is than, say, 25 degrees, and how much colder 25 is than 35. The temperature was in the low 30s the other morning, and one of my neighbors was shoveling his driveway in shorts. And here I was thinking I wouldn't need my summer clothes until July.

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