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06/26/2005 Our Neighbor, Type A Guy
06/23/2005 Father's Day
06/12/2005 Pool Noodling
06/05/2005 Trainspotting
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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 26, 2005

Our Neighbor, Type A Guy
So this morning Joe and I took our usual Sunday morning 12 mile bike ride. Only this morning we ran into somebody from our building that we call Type A Guy. He lives on our side of the building so we see him in the elavator. He usually talks for the duration of the 8 floors we ride together but when we get out of the elavator he is all business and quickly moves to get to his car first and out of the parking garage. So anyway today he rode with us the last half of the bike ride and talked the whole way. I tend to not say much to conserve energy. Joe has pretty much gotten used to asking me a question as we are going up an incline and getting just a grunt from me. Well I had to work really hard to keep up with Joe and Type A Guy (we found out his real name is Bill) and he kept asking me questions and I felt that grunts were probably not really polite enough for someone who did not know me well so I expended the extra energy to answer him. As a result I worked harder than I usually do and was totally exhausted when we got back but two good things came out of this - I shaved .5 miles/hour off my average speed and I learned some new swimming stroke techniques that Bill found out about from a 2 day swimming course called "total immersion". I tried them out when I went swimming later and they were quite effective.

Yesterday I went with Lyla and Tracy to a plant nursery out in VA to buy plants for their yard. It was hot as hell but it was fun picking out stuff to fill her empty lot. We got a hydrangea, rhododendron, a nice evergreen that turns red in the fall and has berries, honeysuckle, day lilies, various perennials and a hollyhock. We managed to get everything in the car but sight lines were definitely limited. Tracy, who knows Northern VA like the back of his hand, was able to still navigate home but not before taking us to Taco Laredo, a great little taco and burrito place with cheap food and usually at least one happy drunk guy. Here's some shots at the nursery and at Lyla's after unloading the plants:

nursery wagon kissin with noodles
nursery wagon

Some more movie/DVD reviews
Something's Gotta Give
This was not a good movie. It was totally predictable which can be OK if there is fun to be had getting to the obvious conclusion but this was not fun. It tried to be charming but it was forced. I did not sympathise with the characters. They were not likeable or interesting. It depended way too much on the sappy music to tell us how we should feel. Keanu Reeves, not known for his acting range, did a much better job than anyone else, or maybe I just forgave him because he is cute. Frances McDormand was good too as always but only had a small part. Run away!

June 23, 2005

Father's Day
There was a cheap air fare to Charleston this past weekend so I popped down there Saturday night and returned Monday. I spent Saturday night at Lynda's and Sunday we did some shopping on King Street. A thunderstorm forced us to duck into a cute little clothing boutique and we had to spend a half hour looking at beautiful clothes and accessories we could not afford, even on sale for 60% off. We stopped at a sandwich shop and I took this picture of our reflection.

reflection in cafe

We also went to an antique store (picture below) where we saw lots of things that brought back memories of growing up in the 1970s in Augusta, GA. One thing we saw was a lamp that Lynda had made of clear wire and pieces of acrylic from a kit in high school. Lynda said she thought we had left it in the house hanging above her bed when we moved. I had made something similar - a sailboat made out of copper wire and and nails on a flat piece of wood. So we spent the day shopping and then we drove to our parents' house. As I got out of the car I looked next to the trash can and guess what was there - the wire and acrylic lamp that we thought we had left hanging in Augusta. What a coincidence that my parents would decide to put it out to pasture the very day we were fondly reminiscing about it.

junk shop

We had a nice Father's day dinner on the screened-in porch as the sun set and the moon rose above the house. Here's a little movie documenting the evening (Quicktime 2.1MB).

June 12, 2005

Pool Noodling
I went in the pool for the first time this weekend. Last week I put my feet in and said "No way" but after a hot and humid week the water was perfect. As usual there were several little old ladies doing water aerobics. They always use the noodles or kickboards that are lying around. Well, later in the afternoon we looked down and saw all the noodles being used for a different type of exercise.
noodle play kissin with noodles

Some more movie/DVD reviews
Where's the Party Yaar?
This is one of those movies that if it weren't for Netflix we would not have seen it. It played maybe for a week in select cities - mainly Houston where it was filmed. It is a story of a guy fresh off the boat (FOB) from India who goes to college in Texas and lives with family friends. He tries to fit in with the kids his age but, of course, it does not go well at least at first. The movie was definitely low budget and predictable but it was fun.

June 5, 2005

We watched Trainspotting Friday night. As with many British movies I had a hard time understanding the dialogue due to the thick accents but the movie was totally understandable relative to our trip to Quiznos sandwich shop just before we sat down to watch the movie. At Quiznos I ordered a Turkey Bacon Guacamole sandwich. I knew that sometimes the sandwich makers with their South Asian Subcontinent accents are hard to understand but I knew what questions were going to be asked so I thought I would be OK. Well, I was not OK. In Latvia I was able to fake it many times because I knew the context. I was at a total loss at Quiznos. The questions he asked me "What size?", "Bacon?", "Lettuce and guacamole?" "For here or to go?" were exactly what I expected but they sounded nothing like English. I did not recognize a single syllable. And what was worse Joe understood him. After saying "I'm sorry" 3 times I just looked at Joe after each question for translation. Trainspotting, a piece of cake.

Saturday we took the Metro to Rockville, about 7 stops north into Maryland. Most DC stops are underground but when you get out to the burbs many are above ground. We had to stand on the Rockville platform for a long time due to single tracking for rail repairs. I took some pictures.

blue lamp on metro platform the train arrives
I liked this pretty blue lampThe train finally arrives
reflction in train
A self portrait of sorts

As we were heading down one of the DC escalators there were 2 kids and their mother and probably an aunt just in front of us. The kids hurried down the escalator and the little boy started entertaining his mom and aunt as they finished their descent - first by doing kung fu moves and then by doing this great little dance. I wish I had had my camera out then. I did catch him dancing later but just in short little eruptions. Take a look at his moves (Quicktime 1.1MB)

This morning we took a 26 mile bike ride into Virginia. The weather was wonderful and I felt good about myself but I was exhausted. It was a nice day to sit on the balcony with my newly planted flowers and comment on all the sunbathers at the pools below.

balcony flowers

Lenore and Paula bought used iMacs from the art department at Paula's work. We welcome them over from the Dark Side and are awaiting their first iMovie.

Some more movie/DVD reviews
This movie is about a bunch of friends who are either trying to kick their heroin habit or cultivating one. It is gritty but good. Ewan McGregor is probably coasting on his work on this film. I don't think he's been this good in anything else. I liked the characters, the colors, the use of fantasy and the story of the film. It is based on a novel and I felt like some of the secondary characters were probably more important in the book, specifically a high school student who is somewhat involved with McGregor's character.

Matchstick Men
Nicolas Cage 's acting ability has always seemed overrated, although he was the only thing I liked about Moonstruck but at the time that may have been less about his acting than his good looks. But I think he does a good job in Matchstick Men. He plays a con artist with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) who has just discovered he has a 12 year old daughter. His tics and obsessions seem really natural and his transition from criminal to criminal who now has a family is done well. His character and the story make for an entertaining movie. And Sam Rockwell, who plays his con man partner, always plays sleazy well.

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