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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 31, 2005

Weekend Fun
I spent a fair amount of time over at Dana's fixing a hard drive crash. I got 2 great breakfasts out of the deal and took 2 nice walks around a new neighborhood with Dana, Aaron and their two greyhounds. The weather was nice this weekend for a change.

Sunday Joe and I went across the river to Arlington, VA to watch a bike race. We took the Metro and we happened to sit in a car with an entertainer who did not realize how entertaining she was. She was an older woman, possibly from New Jersey, and she was having a very animated conversation on her cell phone. There was obviously a family crisis and she had lots to say about it. She kept losing signal but instead of hanging up she just kept yelling "hello, hello" until she got signal again. Her poor husband just sat quietly next to her. Everyone in the car was smiling and shaking their heads.

There has been a lot of construction in my neighborhood and they finally finished the plaza at the Metro station on the corner. Here are pictures of the bike race and of the new plaza (Ernesto's is where Lynda got her Sinead O'Connor haircut a couple of years ago).
Bike race 2005 Ernestos

May 25, 2005

New York Trip
I had a great time!

May 16, 2005

End of an Era
I am no longer taking Latvian lessons. I thought I would keep it up through the end of May but after returning from Latvia, the trip that was my real motivation for studying, and noticing all the stuff that I wanted to do like video editing and watching the Netflix movies that are piling up I found that I was not so interested in studying. I wish I could maintain my proficiency but I already feel the words slipping out of my brain.

My latvian teacher lives in Alexandria south of DC. I work north of DC so my trip to her house during rush hour after work was rarely fun. Once I actually got to the Wilson Bridge I enjoyed all the interesting construction cranes. I tried taking pictures a couple of times but they did not turn out very well, what with all the bumps and other car avoidance. So this was the best of the lot.
Cars & Cranes Fuzzy Cranes

I am heading to New York City this weekend. Last time I was there I went to the Macy's Day Parade and out to Long Island with my friend Tree, maybe 5 years ago. After the parade someone came up to me and asked me if I was Laura McDonald. He said we went to high school together. I was amazed. I did not remember him until I got home and looked in my yearbook. That's what yearbooks are really for.

May 5, 2005

Mother Russia
Saturday night was everything Russian. My aunt Zita, a retired Russian teacher, was in town for a conference on Slavic languages and Austin and William and I met up with her to have dinner. I got there early and Zita asked me to drive her and a Russian friend who teaches in Alaska to a Russian grocery store in VA. The Russian Gourmet was a cramped little place in a strip mall and seemed to mostly sell candy and rent Russian videos. I was afraid Elena would be disappointed. I certainly was. Surprisingly Ilena found several plastic shopping bags worth of stuff (not all candy) to bring home to Anchorage. She was very pleased. Zita and Austin and I then ate at a very nice restaurant called Russia House. I don't normally buy the super fancy drinks listed on the super fancy drinks menu - I usually go straight for a beer - but I had to have the one they call the Sputnik. Sputnik was launched the year I was born. 19 years later my sisters and I went to what was then the Soviet Union with Zita. We hung out with a kooky kid who had nicknames for us all. I was his "Little Sputnik". And now 29 years later I knew that the right thing to do was to drink a Sputnik, no matter how expensive it was. FYI, a Sputnik is made with vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice and cream.

Here's some pictures of Miya's going away to California party

Some more movie/DVD reviews
Nobody Knows
This is a sad but beautiful Japanese movie about 4 children abandoned by their mother and left to fend for themselves in an apartment building in Tokyo. The eldest child, maybe 11 years old, has to provide for his siblings even though he just wants to be a kid. They get a little help from some people in the community but not from anybody who can really make a difference. The beauty of the film is in the subtle camera work and the acting. The director Hirokazu Koreeda also directed one of my favorite films of all time After Life.

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