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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....

June 27, 2004

Intense Sports
I don't exercise nearly enough but I did pretty well this weekend. Yesterday I tried out a new 40 minute Aerobic Pilates tape and then went to ballet class. Today I did a Triathlon For The Rest Of Us - we rode 12 miles on bikes and then a couple hours later I swam 1/2 mile and took in some rays and then a couple of hours after that we took a 2 mile walk to and back from the grocery store. Needless to say my muscles are saying "What the...?!"

Another neighborhood picture of a line of cherry trees:

Cherry Trees

Some more movie/DVD reviews
A Mighty Wind
This movie is by the same people who brought us Best In Show, Waiting For Guffman, and most famously This is Spinal Tap. A Mighty Wind is probably the least funny but it is the sweetest. There are certainly some good funny moments like when the leader of the goody-goody folk-singing group is listening to his wife talk about her past life as an "adult entertainer" during an interview and when another character is describing his over protective mother who made him wear a helmet when he played chess. The original music seems so familar you can almost remember some act singing it on The Smothers Brother Show. It is definitely worth seeing especially if you grew up with parents who constantly played Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul and Mary.

June 20, 2004

Some more movie/DVD reviews
The Bourne Identity
This is a nice looking thriller involving someone (Matt Damon) trying to remember his identity and the clues are leading him to believe he may not be such a good person. He has help from a young German woman (Franke Potente who was in Run, Lola, Run) who is constantly saying "Scheiße" which sounds so much nicer than the English "swear word" equivalent. I heard recently on the radio that Germany is holding a "Most Beautiful German Word" Contest. Joe is half German and does a great German accent. I love the long words and the sort of military way they are pronounced. The contest is open to everyone (not just Germans) and I mentioned it to Joe. He did make a good suggestion - vielleicht, pronounced fee-likht, which means perhaps. I agree it's a very nice German word, nice meaning and sound. I suspect the chances of a non-German winning are pretty slim so we won't even try.

Smoke Signals
I did not think I would like this movie 5 minutes into it. It seemed too precious, a little too much like Northern Exposure (you know, quirky characters and lessons to be learned about other cultures and lifestyles) but by the end it had won me over. It is a sweet story about two young American Indians, Victor and Thomas, who travel from Idaho (I think) to Pheonix, Arizona to take care of business after Victor's father dies. The father had been abusive to Victor and his mother and had left them a long time ago. Victor does not reject his heritage but he is not nearly as enthusiastic about it as Thomas is. They have to work through that and Victor has to forgive his father. I enjoyed it.

June 17, 2004

Still catching up
My trip to Spoleto was fun but not particularly relaxing. It was go, go, go. Here are some pictures. I arrived around noon on Friday the 4th. I did have about an hour on the beach before heading to a reception with my parents where I talked to the parents of someone I knew in high school. I have a real problem remembering people in my past. Susan, who visited me last week, asks me all the time if I remember this or that dancer and I almost always have to say that I remember the name but nothing else. Well, this particular high school acquaintance I remember because he looked liked Groucho Marx and at the time my friend Teresa and I could not get enough of Marx Brothers movies so he was a big hit with us. He was also a little bit older and was a bartender so he was cool.

Some other trip highlights

  • An outdoor piano jazz concert by the Bill Charlap Trio who played surrounded by the lightning of an approaching storm. It ended after 45 minutes when the downpour started. It was amazing how quickly the instuments and electronics were covered up.
  • Lynda's and Graeme's cats - Willow, who squeaks and Cleo, who I found silently sitting close by and staring up at me several times. It was a bit unnerving.
  • Walking around the Art Fair with Gail, Chris & Graeme.
  • Seeing the play The Doctor and Patient starring Mikhail Barishnikov. The play was good in the movement, visuals and acting department but the story was a bit lame.
  • Cookout at Lynda's with special guests Tommy, Sandy and Little T plus Latvian Ilze and Scottish Jeremy.
  • A nighttime stroll around the Battery, a Charleston neighborhood of big old fancy homes.
  • Eating Chris's tomato sandwiches after a short tour of the island and a trip to George & Pink's vegetable stand in T & Sandy's van.
  • Doing Charleston historic homes and art galleries with Ben and a big bag of pork rinds
    The Stables Old porch new bridge
    The Aiken-Rhett House built in 1817
  • Dining at Sermat's with Ben, Lynda, Wayne and Graeme and watching some crazy guys dressed as a dog and a chicken hanging out on the corner.
  • Another day of walking in Charleston this time with Ben, Austin, & Graeme. It was that day that I bought a statue of St. Anthony, the saint one prays to when something is lost. My prayers to St. Anthony are the only remnant of my Catholic upbringing.

Some more movie/DVD reviews
Dirty Pretty Things
A illegal immigrant doctor from Nigeria works several jobs in London and barely sleeps. He finds a human heart in a hotel toilet and his life takes a turn. This movie was simpler than I thought it would be but I liked it. All the main characters are immigrants so you feel you are really in their world. I loved their kindness and honesty, particularly that of a hospital morgue worker who helps the doctor.

June 13, 2004

Last 2 weeks
I am usually not so busy. Good thing it was fun stuff.

My friend Susan from Atlanta arrived for a 3 day visit on Tuesday June 1. Her daughter Lane was performing at the Kennedy Center as part of the American College Dance Festival on June 3. Tuesday afternoon Susan and I went to Hillwood Gardens which is in my neighborhood. It was the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post - rich woman, socialite and art collector. We went to see the gardens, which were lovely, but we almost equally impressed with the beautiful mid-century kitchen in the mansion. It was huge with metal cabinets the color of celeste - a milky sea foam green.

I went to two performances of the college dance festival. There were a few standouts and a few were terribly bad. The piece Lane was in was one of the best. Susan's ex-husband Charlie and their son, Carson, arrived Thursday and we spent time with them before Lane's performance. We went to a great jewelry store and looked carefully at the whole collection of unusual jewelry. We walked over to Georgetown and Charlie taught me how to order a margarita (I had no idea it had become so complicated). Susan and I left for the airport at 5:00 AM the next morning. She went back to Atlanta and I went to Charleston. More on my Charleston trip later.

Susan arrives Japanese Garden
Susan arrivesThe Japanese Garden at Hillwood
French Garden Susan in the Hastas
The French Garden at HillwoodSusan inspects the Hastas
Susan, Charlie & Carson
Susan, Carson & Charlie
BTW, Carson is a Homestar Runner fan

June 4, 2004

Bike Race
It's 6:00 am and I am at the airport waiting for my flight to Charleston where I will visit family and attend events at the Spoleto Arts Festival. I thought I would update this journal although I must say I am mainly doing it to take advantage of the heat my laptop radiates. I am freezing.

The bike race last Sunday was fun. We arrived during the woman's race and watched a cyclist wearing a bright colorful Colvita Olive Oil jersey win. The kids' race was the most exciting. They were either earnestly peddling their hearts out or crying.

The mens' race was fast - 100 times around a 1KM circuit through city streets. I enjoyed the sounds, the whirr of the tires and the clicks of the gears as 50 cyclists whiz past.

And there was only one crash (not serious) that happened right in front of me and my dance friend Brooke who also happened to be there. Her boyfriend is in one of the local cycling clubs. Here are some pics from the race.

Woman's race kids' race
The womens' raceThe kids' race
Famous cyclist
The cyclist on the right was the most famous there. His name is Bobby Julich and he will be racing in the Tour De France. So look for that elbow as you watch the race on TV

Some more movie/DVD reviews
One of my favorite movies is Raise the Red Lantern. It was because of Raise the Red Lantern that I found out about Hong Kong martial arts films. My office mate at the time was a scientist named Ping. I told him I saw and enjoyed Raise the Red Lantern. I told him I loved the colors and fabrics and scenery as much as the story, which was about the relationship between 4 wives of a rich Chinese man in some distant dynasty. He said I would probably like Hong Kong movies and told me about a screening of A Chinese Ghost Story. Joe and I went and it was the beginning of a long relationship between me and Hong Kong films. (Joe willingly tags along). Many Hong Kong action films have the scenery and fabric and colors with the added excitement of Flying Kung Fu action. I mention all this because Hero is directed by the same director as Raise the Red Lantern and it is a departure from his usual dramatic tragic fare. Hero is his first martial arts film and it was beautiful - Interesting story of an event told from several points of view, beautiful scenery, great characters and it stars some of my favorite Hong Kong actors and actresses. (This is not available on US DVD yet)

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