Laura's Online Journal September 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.

September 28, 2003 Make her stop
September 20, 2003 More Destruction
September 19, 2003 Hurricane Isabel, A Mighty Wind
September 14, 2003 Laura's Sweatshop
September 12, 2003 Stress
September 9, 2003 Red Carpets
September 4, 2003 Odds and Ends
August 2003 entries
July 2003 entries

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September 28, 2003

Make her stop
Now that the costumes are done and the hurricane is over I have nothing to talk about so I will continue to talk about the costumes and the hurricane.

Last night I went to the dance performance that featured my costumes. They did look very nice and they worked really well with the movement and lighting. I was nervous while watching, though. I was worried pants would come undone and fall off or the pants would shift and just look funny. But nothing like that happened and I got seemingly sincere compliments from my fellow dance class colleagues after the performance.

Several people I know just got power back six days after the storm. Joe continues to snap pictures. He walked up a powerless street at dusk and actually walked into some wires. Luckily they were not live. He went back the next day before dark and found Georgia Power Trucks working on the problem.

GA power trucks Ouch!
Georgia Power to the rescueI can only imagine the noise
this made as it fell over
Bye bye blue car

Some more movie reviews
My Big Fat Greek Wedding OK, I knew it could not live up to the hype and I suspect I am being overly critical but I just did not like it much. My main complaints are that it seemed to be ethnically toned down (yelling "Oopa" every few minutes does not a Greek movie make) and a film that is set in Chicago should look like Chicago, not Toronto. John Corbett played the exact same character he played in "Sex in the City". And although I had a crush on him when Northern Exposure was on TV I am not too fond of him now. I suspect the one woman show that this movie was based on was quite good but lost some of its unique charm and humor as a movie.

Catch Me If You Can Pleasant enough movie. Tom Hanks did a great job.

Step Into Liquid Documentary movie on surfing around the world. It covered many styles and locales from tow-in surfing (where you are taken out way past the relatively dinky shore waves) in Hawaii to tanker wake surfing in the Houston shipping channel. The people in the film were selected for their enthusiam for the sport rather than how famous they were. I was amazed at the cinematography. The camera people were right out there with the surfers. Amazing film.

September 20, 2003

More Destruction
Here's another picture Joe took this morning nearby. Traffic lights are still out all over town and many are still without power.

Some more movie reviews
Mifune Another Danish film using the Dogma rules for filmmaking (natural light and sound, real locations, no props or music brought in from outside, hand-held cameras). This one is about a man who, on his wedding day, hears that his father has died. He has told his new wife and her father, his boss, that he has no family. But he must leave the big city and go back to his farm home to deal with the funeral arrangements and the future of his retarded brother. He hires a housekeeper who is a prostitute and has her own family problems. The film is both cruel and sweet. The other dogma film we have seen, Italian For Beginners, is a bit better but I would recommend both.

September 19, 2003

Hurricane Isabel, A Mighty Wind!
At 11:00am yesterday we were told that the computers were being shut down and that we were to leave work at noon. I stopped by Target to pick up a gift certificate (and maybe a Mizrahi leather jacket, as seen on TV) and there were fairly long lines waiting for cashiers. I noticed most people were buying storage bins and large bags of candy.

I then went to the grocery store where there were lots of students wandering around in groups (the store is near American University). There were no long lines but there was absolutely no water in the store, not even the Poland Springs sparkling water that I like to mix with Limeade. Other than that the shelves were pretty well stocked so I bought stuff for a couple of meals, just in case. I got home about 2:00 and by 3:00 the wind was starting to pick up and it was raining pretty hard. I had taken all the plants in that morning so we took the oppurtunity to clean the balcony floor and let the rain and wind carry the dirt away. By 4:00 the balcony was sparkling!

I then started to frantically finish the small amount of work I had left on the costumes, mostly hemming and ironing. The lights were flickering a bit and I was fairly sure we would lose power.


By 6:00 the wind was stronger and we noticed that a satellite dish on a balcony the next building over was dangling off the side. Having seen the residents we are convinced that this satellite picks up the Indian/Pakastani stations that play bollywood movies so we were ready to feel bad for them if they lost it but were also somewhat peeved that they were so irresponsible to have left it there. (we also realized that they may be out of town).

By 8:00 the wind was whistling and howling, shaking the sliding glass door and we had a small leak in the bedroom. When the rain stopped I stepped gingerly out a couple of times and it was really quite thrilling. The sky was all sorts of colors. My friend the monster cicada was clinging to the screen of one of our bedrooms. It was still there this morning.

Hurricane Isabel

The lights flickered but never went out. We ate pasta with green beans, toasted almonds and alfredo sauce, watched an episode of The Sopranos (the one where Livia, Tony's mother, dies) and an episode of His and Her Circumstances (anime) and went to bed. Despite the howling wind Joe and I had no trouble sleeping.

Goddard was still closed today so I stayed home. The morning was gorgeous. It was cloudy and breezy in the 60s and the air smelled clean and fresh. Miya, my ballet teacher, came by to pick up the costumes and I made her watch a couple of Bollywood song/dance videos. She seemed to enjoy them but Joe says I have no real perspective when it comes to Bollywood movies.

There was plenty of damage outside our cozy apartment. Joe took pictures during his walk to work. Many trees were down and few traffic lights were working.

Tree in front of VNN
A tree in front of our building along the sidewalk going towards Connecticut Ave.
Tree knocks down lines Close up of fallen tree
Fallen tree pulling down power linesA closer look
Same fallen tree
This is the same tree.
Note one of these people is surveying the damage. Another is inspecting his shoe laces.

September 14, 2003

My brother Tommy was in town over the weekend. I was a bit worried that I would not be able to spend a lot of time with him because of the costumes I am sewing. So Lyla and Austin came over Saturday and we set up an assembly line to finish the sewing. Tommy sat at the computer and made 11 hours worth of CDs and monitored Hurricane Isabel. It was great fun!
sweatshop sewing
Later that evening Lyla, Tracy, T and I went over to Austin and William's for a nice cookout.
glove skewers
Food prep
brighttable dinner table
Two views of the dinner table

Some more movie reviews
Igby Goes Down I liked this movie better than Joe did although he did not hate it. The main character is Igby, a 17 year old from a truly dysfunctional wealthy family. He drops out of school and hides from his mother in Soho (NYC). No one is this movie is sympathetic and everyone is going to turn out badly and although I have complained about this sort of thing when writing about other movies (e.g., My Son The Fanatic) I liked Igby Goes Down because it had good dialogue peppered with some clever sarcasm, interesting characters and good acting. Igby is played by Kieran Culkin who also did a great job in Signs.

September 12, 2003

Sewing 8 pairs of pants and 4 shirts for 8 different sized dancers is very stressful. So far 4 pants fit so everything is cool for now.

I decided to take a break last weekend so Joe and I took a walk and stopped at a swing set near a grade school. I have always liked to swing so I jumped right on.

swing1 swing2

September 9, 2003

Red Carpets
Lyla and I were nominated for a DC Metro Dance award, a local dance community awards project, for "designing" costumes for my dance teacher, Dana Tai Soon Burgess. I did not really design the costumes. I helped Dana pick out the fabric and I sewed the costumes. It was a lot of work because the fabric was a sheer, sheer silk that was lovely to look at and feel but a pain to work with. Although Lyla did not really help me sew she gave me excellent sewing advice and hooked us up with June, a salesperson at G Street Fabrics who was great.

The awards program was last night but, alas, we did not win. There were 5 nominees and the winner truly deserved to win. She has been designing costumes in DC for many years and will be designing costumes for Dana's next performance. I met her afterwards and she told me that she had seen the costumes I made and thought they were beautiful. Here is a fuzzy video still of the costumes.


The format of the awards program was similar to your typical hollywood/tv awards program with different guest presenters for each award, clever banter, performances, a live band and acceptance speeches. There was no red carpet event but there should have been because I was wearing a spiffy outfit. There was a reception afterwards which was fun because there were old and new friends to hobnob with.

I also run Dana's web site.

September 4, 2003

Odds and Ends
Here's something odd. This is a car I park near at work.

car buddy

Sadly, it's the end of summer. No more swimming, no more warm summer nights. But I have a lot going on this fall so hopefully I will get over it. Right now I am making costumes for my ballet teacher's concert -- 8 pairs of pants and 4 tops. There is enough material but it is in 5 pieces of various lengths. The hardest part is doing the math to arrange and cut out the pattern pieces. One mistake and one of dancers will be dancing in his underwear. This project may cut into my online journal time.

Some more movie reviews
Tadpole 15 year old boarding school kid goes home to his father's New York City apartment for Thanksgiving. He gets drunk and sleeps with his stepmother's best friend but it is the stepmother that he is really in love with. He spends the rest of the movie trying to keep the stepmother's best friend from telling everyone and trying to woo the stepmother. Can you say "Ewwww!"? Not a good movie.

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