Laura's Online Journal August 2003


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.

August 31, 2003 Horror
August 27, 2003 Lightning
August 23, 2003 Family Purchases
August 20, 2003 Wildlife
August 16, 2003 Mars!
August 14, 2003 What not
August 9, 2003 Wasps!
August 7, 2003 Camp DC/Movie Reviews
August 3, 2003 Graeme's Visit
July 2003 entries

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August 31, 2003

Two mornings this past week I opened my eyes to see a monster sized cicada on my 15th story window. I was reminded that coming up sometime soon is the emergence of the 17 year cicadas, an event that terrified me about 15 years ago and will terrify me again for sure. They came up out of the ground with big red eyes, crawling around, clinging to tree trunks and screens. Then they learned to fly but were clumsy and blind and thought people are trees. And now I know that living on the 15th floor is not going to make any difference this next time around.

Here's a bad, blurry picture I took while waiting for the metro but upon closer inspection it is kinda scary.

scary green

Some more movie reviews
Bhoot A Bollywood horror film about a couple who move into a spiffy high rise apartment available because the previous tenant jumped or fell off the balcony. I was wondering how the song/dance numbers were going to fit in but there weren't any even though one of the best dance actresses was in the movie. So it was just scary.

Austin Powers in Goldmember This sequel is alternately funny and disgusting. I am not sure which side won.

August 27, 2003

We've had severe rain and lightning for the last two evenings. It's been quite spectacular. Last evening I watched the storm from the large window in my office. Tonight I watched the lightning from my ballet class and while I was most likely ensuring constant hip and knee pain in my old age Joe was taking photos from our balcony.

lightning lightning

Some more movie reviews
Once Upon a Time in Mexico In theaters soon...Johnny Depp and Antonio Banderas...Doesn't matter if it is good or bad, I am there! Wanna see the trailer?

My Son the Fanatic This is about a man who moves his family from Pakistan to London and becomes a cab driver and befriends a prostitute while his son becomes a religious fanatic. I have seen movies similar to this that I have liked and I admire the actor who plays the main character (Om Puri) but I did not like this movie. I did not like any of the characters. Many were not meant to be liked but I think you need to like or have sympathy for at least one.

August 23, 2003

Family Purchases
William and Austin are thinking of coming over from the Dark Side by buying a Mac. Lyla bought a new bike, a Giant Cypress Hybrid. She claims she is going to ride over to our place which means she will have to ride up the dreaded Tilden Avenue hill of humiliation. Mom and Dad are buying a new car after the last one was totaled in an accident Mom had (she's fine). At the scene an ambulance driver started speaking to her in German after he found out her name is Ingrid. Mom told him in German that she is not German. And Tommy found a new pawn shop to buy good cheap used DVDs.

Some more movie reviews
24 Hour Party People Wow! I have been thinking about this movie for almost 24 hours now. I really found it interesting. It is a pseudo documentary about the drug-fueled music scene in Manchester, England in the late 80s and early 90s. The director and actors did a great job in re-creating the time. It was really well done...and funny. It is hard to explain why it was so good. There were reenactments of certain events with some archival footage thrown in but they were so much better than any documentary on PBS. It helped that the main character who narrated the whole thing reminded me a bit of Eric Idle. I did not know all the bands involved but I was still very interested. And there was this guy who did this great dance.

August 20, 2003

You know, sometimes I wish I could write a blog like this where I could rant about fellow office workers, ex-husbands, bad reality shows, siblings whom I love dearly but only call me to ask me to look up a phone number. But I just don't have the guts to do the edgy stuff so instead this is what you get....

Yesterday morning at 7:00am I was watering flowers on the balcony and I heard a small squeaking noise off to my right. I looked up and there was a hummingbird fluttering just off my balcony. We just looked at each other for what seemed like a minute but was probably more like 2 seconds and then it took off to research flowers and hummingbird feeders on other balconies. I also see a bat from time to time. I don't see it at dusk as I would expect but after dark when it is more like a flapping shadow than a flapping silhouette.

Random Neighborhood Picture

Nearby Artwork

Some more movie reviews
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani: This has one or two good music/dance numbers but the contrast between the serious plotline and the frivolous one was just too much. One minute a crowd has gathered to protest the hanging of a man accused of murdering the man who raped his daughter. The next minute the same crowd is cheering on two local tv news personalities who are announcing their engagement.

The Good Girl: Once I got past the fact that Rachel from Friends was playing a serious role in a small independent film I realized she was doing good job. The movie was a bit depressing but good.

XXX James Bond for the X Games Generation. It was OK. I don't find Vin Diesel attractive or "sexy ugly" but I do like his gravelly voice. The stunts were a bit improbable but that seems to be a trend in action movies these days.

August 16, 2003

It has been cloudy at night for a while but last night it was only overcast and I was able to see Mars. There were no other stars so I thought the bright red light might be a helicopter but it just stayed put. The 3/4 full moon was low in the sky near by. It was a nice sight.

Last weekend we went to the Smithsonian to see a photo exhibit that I had seen with my parents and that I thought Joe would enjoy. As usual we stopped for lunch at the Indian food stand at the Old Post Office and ordered masala dosas, huge pancakes filled with a spicy potato/onion mash. On several occasions wide-eyed tourists have stopped us and asked what we were carrying past their tables. Delicious!


August 14, 2003

What not
The wasps are gone. This is good. We rented Season 2 of The Sopranos which is also good because I think the show is well done. So well done that I have strange dreams pretty much every night we watch an episode. But I can't stay away. Even though it is about criminals it is still about bravery and fear and trust and family and the danger of having any connection to these guys. You have the psychiatrist who was at first intrigued to be treating a mobster but then realized that she was now part of his world and there is no way to pull out. And I think Nancy Marchand who plays Tony Soprano's mother was the best actress ever. The acting is all very good.
Random Neighborhood Picture

Strange activity in our Pool

Some more movie reviews
K-19: The Widowmaker: Pretty good movie about a near nuclear reactor disaster in a Russian submarine. I thought it was going to be a complicated story about war strategy and the evils of the communism but no, it was a story of survival and a conflict between 2 commanding officers with different management styles. I liked it more than I thought I would. Liam Neesaon and Harrison Ford starred with many other male actors in a claustrophic submarine set. Some of the actors had Russian accents and some didn't which was fine because there is nothing worse than fake "Moose and Squirrel" russian accents. Their clothes and names were enough to make them seem Russian.

Spider Man: It was what I expected. Very comic book like which is what it was supposed to be. I think I'll skip the sequel.

August 9, 2003

yellow jackets

I had about 20 yellow jackets crawl into my office and die last week. Luckily they just sort of banged themselves against the window and did not fly around the room. I had an exterminator and some maintenance workers take a look but they need to talk to each other. Apparently there is a hole in the brick leading into my air convector. Hopefully they took care of it on Friday while I was off playing with Graeme.

August 7, 2003

Camp DC
I have been busy being doting aunt to Graeme and am mostly updating his site.

Some more movie reviews
Donnie Darko: Psychological thriller involving time travel (only to the recent past) and alternate realities. I'd say the acting was good and it held my interest but I wish I had understood it a bit better. The special features of the DVD helped to explain it a bit.

I Spy: Lightweight spy comedy. It was what I expected. Owen Wilson plays a junior spy with his usual charm. Eddie Murphy is funny too as a boxer/spy.

Ronin: Heist movie with Robert DeNiro and Jean Reno. A group of men with various skills from various countries and an irish woman are hired to steal a metal briefcase. There are double crossings, car chases in small towns in southern france, explosions and a bit of kissing. It was interesting to see how each decided who and who not to trust.

Johnny English: Another spy movie spoof. I enjoyed Rowan Atkinson and all the silliness. Graeme said the best scenes were in the trailer and this is true. And there was even a funny scene in the trailer that did not make it to the movie. This also happened with Sandra Bullock's Miss Congeniality, but I digress. Johnny English got mostly bad reviews which is too bad because despite the one gross poop gag it was very funny. The ending is also great fun. (Luckily they did not ruin it by putting it in the trailer).

August 3, 2003

Graeme's Visit
My 11 year old nephew, Graeme, is visiting from Charleston, SC. This is a document of his visit so far.

Archived entries

July 2003 entries

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