Friday, November 26, 2010

Mail pondering - snail and otherwise

Why did someone invent envelopes with windows?  What happens to all the paper cut out from the envelope? Have you ever inserted something into one of these open-faced windows upside down, sideways, backwards?  And, if you did, was it accidentally mailed?  Why does one open-faced envelope not fit another's contents?  Is it a conspiracy to keep the envelope from falling into the wrong hands?

What about Dead Letters? Years ago while I was living in North Carolina I put an unstamped envelope into a mailbox. The minute it dropped in I realized my mistake.  Luckily, the mail carrier who came to empty the box possessed genuine Southern-gentleman-manners, and let me rummage through the stack and stamp the envelope, avoiding a long wait for its return from the Dead Letter Office.  Do they still call it that?

Are lost letters or strayed packages "returned to sender"  nowadays? Or do they pile up somewhere in a musty warehouse? Occasionally I have been contacted about the non-receipt of something which I am certain I mailed.  Validates "the check is in the mail" belief, but causes frustration for me, and the non-recipient.

Mis-addressed emails are no longer returned "unable to deliver."
Either there were too many for our ISP's to handle, or someone lost his/her job programming the software to return them.

This time of year my mail box overflows with catalogues -  obviously many companies have yet to stop printing - even though they all have comprehensive websites - and often suggest that there are more
items to view on the internet than in the catalogue.  Covering their bases no doubt.

Film critique - Girl with Dragon Tattoo

Catching up with friends who read them years ago, I recently finished the spell-binding Swedish trilogy -
starring Lisbeth Salander - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  Regretfully, the author, Steig Larsson, died soon after completing the third. (Some speculate that he planned a series of ten volumes.)

I have just watched the Swedish film version of the first, and am baffled by it.  I would love to talk to others who have read the books, and then viewed the film/s.  Throughout,  all I could wonder was: how in the world could anyone get caught up in this story? The film is quite episodic and fails to covey the suspense, the characterizations, the nuances which as a reader I found compelling - and haunting. I am also disappointed with the actor cast as Lisbeth - she is too pretty, not as edgy as I expected, nor as diminutive. Larsson makes a point of her size frequently  - with comments on the strength such a tiny person exhibits.

I expect to view the other two films - just wondering how I will react.  It has been ages since I have seen a film 'based on a book' which I had read, consumed, and enjoyed.  Recollection informs that this was among the most disappointing.