I have two unrelated - yet very related things that have been bugging me today. I watched The Merchant of Venice movie with Al Pacino. Al Pacino sounded sort of like Billy Crystal trying to do the Yiddish accent in Princess Bride, but with a slight speech impediment. I spent much of the movie trying to figure out what exactly it was about his Yiddish accent that would have made my second grade teacher send him to the Speech Room (which was actually a converted broom closet) for lessons. Nice, punish the kids with the speech problems by making them sit in the 3'x3' closet that smelled like musty mop water! Anyway, it did have Kris Marshall, the guy who plays Colin "American girls would seriously dig me with my cute British accent," in Love Actually, in it. And all in all it was a fairly good movie, albeit VERY slow moving.
So, to the point. At the end of the movie (and I'm assuming the play -- I need to re-read the original, since it's been about 18 years. Gosh, I'm old!) what happens to Shylock? He is supposed to become a Christian and give half of his money to the Duke. That's it though. There's this very complex character that no one seems to care about. Not even his daughter. I know that Shakespeare created him as a minor character, but the most interesting guy gets completely forgotten in the midst of the sex romps for the new lovers at the end. Huh. Makes you feel sort of bad.
Speaking of complex characters, let's talk about Rumplestiltskin for a minute. Here's this troll who everyone hates simply because he was born a troll. Although you have to admit he's a little bit greedy, he is helping out the clueless girl who gets locked in the tower. Yes, she's giving him things in exchange for his spinning magic. And yes, he's going a little too far asking for her first born. But at the end he falls down a hole and rips himself in two. I have a problem with this. He's the only guy in the story that is remotely interesting, and he gets eaten up in a big chasm. No one ever asks the girl how she learned to spin. No one seems bothered that the Miller basically sold his daughter into slavery. And everyone lives happily ever after and seems to forget all about poor little troll boy who really just wanted some friends. Oh, and maybe someone else's baby.
In other news, we're having our house powerwashed and stained. We have wood siding that looks like it hasn't been sealed in the past twenty years. I asked the staining guy about putting an insecticide in the new stain to prevent the woodpeckers from pecking on our house. Their favorite spot happens to be outside our bedroom window. So at 4:30 every morning, those crazy bastards start their pecking party outside our room. The stain guy has never heard of this insecticide thing and said that the birds peck for other reasons in addition to searching for insects.
I went online to research this because it sounded like a crock to me. But, turns out, he's right. They peck to attract mates and to make nests in my siding too. Here are the solutions that I could find:
1) Put up a net at the problem area three feet from the house
2) Spray the birds with a high pressure water hose
3) Mount models of snakes at the problem sites
Now that's a picture. I will completely surround my house with netting suspended three feet from the walls, hang rubber rattlesnakes on the side of the house, and run around shooting a power washer at the birds. I have become Bill Murray in Caddyshack. Pretty soon I will be digging bunkers and muttering about gophers. Ahhhh!