Recent Entries

05/29/2004 Summer Fun
05/23/2004 More Big Ugly Red-eyed Bugs
05/20/2004 Big Ugly Red-eyed Bugs
05/14/2004 Sour Grapes
Main Journal Page

Archived Entries

April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003

Highlighted Entries

My First Blog Entry
Favorite Car Story
Vaguely Dissatisfied
Cicada Horror
Hurricane Isabel
Lenore & Paula's Visit
Beer Label Dreams
Winners Circle
New Toys
Recent News Events
I Met Shah Rukh Khan!

Related Web Sites

McDonald Family Page
2003 Christmas Contest
Graeme's Visit
July 2003 Beach Trip
A Birthday Party

Laura's Online Journal May 2004


The most recent entries are first. If you haven't been here for a while scroll down or click on a date. And remember most pictures are links to a larger version.

Comments? Your movie reviews? I would love to hear from you!

Enough about you, let's talk about me....

May 29, 2004

Summer Fun
Busy times. Work was hectic this past week so it is nice to have the 3 day weekend. Tomorrow we go to a bike race across the Potomac River in Arlington. On Tuesday Susan from Atlanta visits for 3 days. I have known Susan for a long time. When I first met her I was so jealous of her. This was back in 1978 and she was cool, a dancer, just graduated from Cal Arts. 5 years later I was dancing with her and becoming her friend. She will be here to watch her daughter, who just graduated from college, dance at the Kennedy Center. Friday I leave for Charleston/Edisto to visit the rents and attend the Spoleto Festival. I am looking forward to this next week.

I tend to run away from anything that says As Seen On TV but I caved in and bought the Shark Steam Cleaner. I am not sure why. I guess I thought it would solve all my cleaning problems, I have come to realize or maybe accept that all my cleaning problems are due to the fact that we don't clean. But the cleaner does help. It is not so great on soap scum but it did get rid of some caked-on grit on the edge of the bathtub. And it works well on windows.

Here is another neighborhood picture:

No Pedestrians

Some more movie/DVD reviews
But I'm a Cheerleader
I like the actress, Natasha Lyon, but she could not make this movie good. It tried to be a nostalgic and campy but it did not do it very well. And I just did not care about any of the characters.

May 23, 2004

More Big Ugly Red-eyed Bugs
I really had no intention of talking about these things so much. When the articles started appearing I did not read them. I thought I knew what I needed to know - they were big ugly bugs that come around every 17 years, mate and then disappear. But now I want to know why they attach themselves to the upper part of my building in the late afternoon, at least 8 stories above the trees and why they make a noise that sounds like a woman in the next building over screaming 3 times for 3 seconds/scream. When you hear them all doing this at once (as opposed just the one that is attached to the window screen right next to my bed) it sounds like an alien ship. It is really odd.

Despite the threat of colliding with the cicadas in the park we went on our usual 12 mile Sunday morning bike ride. It was actually quite nice - very light bike and pedestrian traffic and no cicada collisions.

Some more movie/DVD reviews
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
Beautiful Korean movie about a monk and a young boy living on a floating monastery in the middle of a lake. It is a nice story about cycles and lessons of love, salvation and redemption. It is a bit long. Early on the young boy attaches rocks to a number of water creatures and takes delight in their suffering. I knew this would come back to haunt him but I felt that the audience suffered too for his cruelty in the long scene where it does come back to haunt him. But overall it was a beautiful thoughtful movie.

May 20, 2004

Big Ugly Red-eyed Bugs
I wrote about the 17 year cicadas last summer when I realized they would be back soon, For months now everyone has been talking about their arrival. There have been numerous print, TV and radio reports about their life cycle, their sex life, their nutritional value but I prefer to have as little to do with them as possible. I remember collecting empty cicada shells in a mason jar with my friend Ginger in fourth grade. It was a hobby I really was not interested in and I am not really sure I knew then what came out of those shells. Probably a good thing as the nightmares would have started sooner. But it is hard to get away from them these days and I would not really be writing about them now except that we made a scientific discovery. 9 out of 10 cicadas prefer white picket fences for congegrating.

Joe and I walked about 5 miles last Sunday. There were some areas where there were no bugs and then we would hit an area where we were dodging them on the sidewalk and in the air. We passed a white picket fence that was covered with them. We then went into a neighborhood where there were many fences and we soon discovered that there were no cicadas on any other fences except the white ones. This discovery kept our interest long enough for me to take some pictures.

Picket Fence Closeup

So the only other thing I will say is there were 5 cicadas on our 15 floor balcony the other day and several others clinging to side of the building. It had been raining and a patch of blue sky opened up. I chose to ignore the big ugly red-eyed bugs and took a picture of the sky

Nice Sky

Some more movie/DVD reviews
Confessions of A Dangerous Mind
Decent movie about Chuck Barris, the guy who created The Gong Show, The Dating Game and The Newleywed Game and may or may not have been a secret agent killer for the CIA. Sam Rockwell did a great job as Barris and the 1960s look and feel did not feel forced as it does in some movies set during that time. It was interesting to see how Chuck Barris was so relentlessly critized for The Gong Show. I did not like it but it cetainly was no worse than many its direct descendents - the reality shows of today.

May 14, 2004

Sour Grapes
So I did not win the iMovie competition. I am not sure that the grand prize and first place winners (amateur category) were much better than mine. I thought the 2nd place was good. But I am positive that my little iMovie made at least one person smile. Ok, it may have been only me but that's good enough. If you are interested, go see the winning entries.

May 10, 2004

Taking Control
Friends is over. It was time.

Last week I tried a little self-improvement. I managed to go on 2 bike rides and survived both and I feel good about that. I also went to see a financial advisor. I just feel I need some advice on taxes, retirement and some stock I own. I feel like I am letting other entities make decisions for me that I should have control of. And you know how I hate not being in control.

Here are some neighborhood pictures:

pins pins
The top of my dresser A city street parker's protest
OK, this is Chicago circa 1966. Then and probably for only a few months longer I am taller than Lynda, the scrawny kid next to me. The woman who is supposed to be Mom looks more like Lynda than Mom. And we don't know it yet but we do not want to be in the car when Austin is driving. Actually you don't want to try to caravan with Austin driving. It's like trying to follow a flying bug, and not one of those big ugly slow-flying, low-flying cicadas that are about to invade our area. (Lyla spotted some empty shells on her way to work this morning. Joe collided with one on his bike ride last night)

Some more movie/DVD reviews
This is a Japanese film that I had been hearing about for a couple of years. It has it all -- Yakuza (Japanese gangsters), zombies, reincarnation, gore, time loops, guns, big guns, sword fights, kung fu action, romance and a litle three stooges. It is wild! The story takes place in a forest and the main characters are destined to repeat a battle every 500 years or so until one of them goes through a gate or goes to another level or something like that. It was a lot of fun although I did spend a fair amount of time covering my eyes. Some parts were pretty yucky. It helped, though, that the one of the main characters resembled Johnny Depp.

Archived entries

Main Journal Page

April 2004 entries

March 2004 entries

February 2004 entries

January 2004 entries

December 2003 entries

November 2003 entries

October 2003 entries

September 2003 entries

August 2003 entries

July 2003 entries

Back to the McDonald Family page