It’s not as cold as it feels, which worries me. It feels like one of those numbers that huddles around Zero like uncertain teens seeking approval of the class rogue. But it’s 14. We should – I should be able to take 14 with a hearty laugh: hah! I spit at your pretense, and kick the frozen effluent before it hits the ground! But it’s bone-cracking cold out there, and tonight while walking Jasper I shuddered and groused, thinking: it’s hat and gloves weather. I had neither, this just being December, but it appears I must adjust. I saw all the trees in the windows of the warm cozy houses, and the Christmas feeling did not come. The cold isn’t enough. We need snow to justify living here, and the grey sky is barren. Give it a week, I suppose. For now, though: criminey.

Makes one want to stay home by the fire. But nothing good comes of that; chores must be done, errands run. So I got in the Element and drove through the same and ended up at Office Max to buy blank DVDs and Sharpies. I have a book event tomorrow, and might have to sign something things. Always need Sharpies. (Discovered 12 later that night when cleaning out a drawer.) I dropped into the bottle shop to see what they were selling; a nice young lady was handing out samples of two reds, one of which I’m regretting at this very moment. Starts sweet and ends dry, and while it’s suitable, the bouquet might be described as Mummy’s Underwear. It was better than the South African brand proffered; I swear you can taste the burning tires. It had a toady top note and finished not just with one note but a dozen, all taken from a 12-tone row by Schoenberg. Sometimes I think they pair a craptacular wine with an average one so you’ll congratulate yourself for buying the better one.

It was a sleepover weekend – they all are now, it seems – so there was much pink cutey screechery around the house at night. I plunked away on some projects, clearing the decks for the big book-birthing that will occupy January and February, and  watched the DaVinci Code. Handsomely done. Having read the book, there wasn’t a single moment of suspense or drama left, which reduced the impact. As you might imagine. I was surprised how underwhelming the music was, in context; it’s really a lovely score, and probably the only thing of value to come out of that silly farrago. Interesting to note how Ian McClellan appears to be about four-foot-three in the movie; according to LOTR and the “X-Men” movies, he’s about seven-foot-two. I’m wondering if he actually isn’t computer-generated, and can be scaled at will. If so, I’d like to see him in King Kong 2, as the old, wise, sadly cynical ape who travels to Manhattan.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I cannot figure out why they didn’t do a sequel to Titanic. “Britannic” would have been a hell of a film. A hospital ship hits a mine (or gets torpedoed; the story differs) and all the gallant soldiers have to find their way off. Add nurses. It would have had a happier ending, too; except for 30 people in a lifeboat who got sucked into the propellor, nearly everyone made it off.  They could have used the sets to make “Olympic,” a  straight-to-DVD sequel.

I also rented “Superman Returns,” although I have no particular need to watch it. Feels like I must, though. Even though I never liked Superman comics.

Talkative sods, aren’t they? You can’t wait for the set-up to this cover. I mean, if the editor of my paper wanted me to meet him in the wax museum, and he came after me with a knife, I’d be on the phone to the union in a second; wouldn’t stand around and debate the matter.

Want to bet that his identity was safe at the end of the comic? Would you care to wager that the Girl of Tomorrow, who came from the future to use mind-reading powers to trap an alien into a loveless marriage – a proposition whose horrible prospect made Superman leap, as though his hindquarters had involuntarily loosed a gas-blast sufficient to lift him off his feet and billow his cape – did not succeed in telling the whole world his useless secret? Maybe that’s why I want to watch the movie; I want to see if they came up with a compelling reason for Superman to have a secret identity. It’s like the world’s longest-running metaphor for being in the closet, which I’m sure two thousand other bloggists have noted.

Bloggists? Where did that come from? I actually like it; better than blogger. Blogger sounds like someone carrying big wobbly Hefty bags of Jell-O; bloggist has a certain precision, as well as an old-world charm. It also lends itself to bloggista and bloggisto, which moves the emphasis from the dull O to the pert & vivacious i vowel.

Yes, I’m just brimming with things to say today, aren’t I?

Well, there’s more, but some of it has to be shunted off into paying work. I went to the Mall of America to return the new laptop. It had a squeaky space bar. They swapped it out for a new one. That’s customer service.  I did some shopping for Christmas gifts, and as usual the Mall disappointed; I always think it will answer all my needs, since it’s so damn big, but in the end it’s just 4832 women’s clothing stores, with sweaters. I checked three sunglasses stores for clip-ons: nothing. The Sunglasses Hut did have watches, though. That’s helpful. Hate to think all that watch-selling space would be wasted on sunglasses at the Sunglasses Hut. While not take out half the sunglasses displays and put in a coffee bar? Because you’re at least 26 paces from a Starbucks.

I stopped at a Zippo kiosk to reaffirm that they had a lousy selection – they usually have about sixteen unique Zippos, and the rest have peace signs or Bud logos or sport-team emblems. They had a nice line of classic Playboy covers, which are interesting – for me, at least, those tiny little pictures still gave off that alluring ring-a-ding-ding / put the Miles on the Marantz / sit in the Eames Chair and read Norman Mailer stick it to the Squares vibe.  I might buy one. A Zippo with the Playboy logo is crass, but one with a cover would be nice for the collection. Go nicely with the James Bond “You Only Live Twice” number, since they’re both part of that long-evaporated ethos of pickled swank.

There’s more, but I’ll have to save it for tomorrow, since an unusually dense concatenation of obligations is filling my Monday, and it’s either two weak-tea Bleats or nothing at all tomorrow.   New Matchbook & Quirk – thanks for coming, and expect an equally small ration tomorrow. Have a grand day.