Recent Entries
09/28/2004 Christmas Contest Time Again
09/19/2004 Back to School 2
09/10/2004 Back to School
09/03/2004 More Movies
Archived Entries
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
Highlighted Entries
My First Blog Entry
Favorite Car Story
Vaguely Dissatisfied
Cicada Horror
Hurricane Isabel
Lenore & Paula's Visit
Beer Label Dreams
Winners Circle
New Toys
Recent News Events
I Met Shah Rukh Khan!
Spoleto Festival 2004
Related Web Sites
McDonald Family Page
2003 Christmas Contest
Graeme's Visit
July 2003 Beach Trip
A Birthday Party

Laura's Online Journal September 2004


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....

September 28, 2004

Christmas Contest Time Again
Well, Austin's been bugging me to send out this year's Christmas Contest Announcement so that he can start procrastinating. Well, he can start (and believe me he will). Here is it is:

Contest Announcement

Some more movie/DVD reviews
Saving Silverman We rented this because the commercials were funny and it stars Jack Black and Steve Zahn. Luckily there were more funny bits than just the ones in the commercial. It was a good mindless fun movie.

Owning Mahowny Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a great actor. He had a small part in the Big Lebowski but he was so memorable. He had the lead in this film, which was based on a true story about a bank employee who bilked the bank for millions to feed his gambling addiction. It was pretty good. I felt like they embellished some of the story but that was probably a good thing.

September 19, 2004

Back to school 2
Last night I had one of those dreams where you are back in school and it is time to take an exam and you don't remember ever opening the books or even attending class. In this dream I must have been to class because I knew the teacher did not like me and thought I was dumb. Anyway even after I woke up it took a while before I realized it was only a dream and then I was so relieved. Psychologically I now realize where that dream came from but we won't get into that here.

Top 5 good that happened this week:

  • My friend Brooke's wedding celebration at the Fairfax Hunt Club. I love being able to say I have been to a Hunt Club. Brooke looked lovely and she has this great group of sarcastic friends that I like hanging with.
  • My Latvian language teacher said I had good pronunciation.
  • I was able to send out Dana's newsletter using this fancy email marketing software. (Dana is my dance teacher on whose company's board I serve and whose website I manage). It took a while to figure everything out but it will be easier from now on. The best part is that it gives me something else to obsess about and although Joe thinks that it is truly evil it is interesting to see how many people actually read the newsletter. I can see where this could be used for evil (spam) and I turn off the option in my email software that allows this info to be sent back. If I could I would turn that spying feature off but since I can't I'll just have fun keeping track of all the stats.
  • Fresh pasta from Vace Italian deli
  • It was cool enough (60 degrees) to wear my vintage (1970s) cycling sweater. It has a emblem that says "elf" that turns out to be a Norwegian petroleum company. I bought it at the Clarendon Cup race that Joe and I went to in June. I really liked the color, the emblem and the 50/50 mixture of wool and acrylic.

    Here's a pic:

    Elf Petroleum Sweater

    And it looks like one of my other recurring dreams - you know he one where I am climbing the dreaded Tilden Avenue Hill of Hell and Humiliation and all of a sudden it turns into a scary mountain pass in the Italian Alps - came true.

    Terrible Tilden

    Some more movie/DVD reviews
    Ringu I have been reading about this Japanese horror film for years and since there has been an explosion of Japenese horror films and their sequels and their American remakes I decided I should watch it. It did the job. I was creeped out. I don't need to see any more Japanese horror films, their sequels or their American remakes.

    Charlotte Sometimes Another film that is so well done for being a low budget movie. It is a story of a guy, his neighbors, one of whom he is in love with and a mysterious woman who enters their lives. It is a very nice looking film (the colors and sets) and the characters and their stories unfold inicely. Although it is slow paced and I knew it would probably never be anything but sad I really enjoyed it.

    September 10, 2004

    Back to school
    I have decided to take Latvian language classes again. Lyla and I took classes before we went to Riga in 2001 for the 800th anniversary celebration of the founding of Latvia - a great trip. Anyway I really did want to keep it up but our teacher Dace went on to teach Latvian history to Latvian-American kids. And I am sure her duties as wife of the Latvian Ambassador to US kept her busy as well. Well, I finally got off my butt and found a teacher. I had my first private lesson tonight. It was tough. I have been listening to Latvian all my life and can pick up words here and there. And this is what was happening tonight. She was doing this immersion thing - trying to speak only latvian and I could figure out the first 2-3 words and then maybe the 6th and the last but the words in between were just a blur. The worse part is that before tonight I could feel smug that I understood what my mother was talking about in a general sense but tonight I wasn't just eavesdropping. I was being asked a question and I supposed to answer and in Latvian. But I am excited. I really want to learn and she seems like a good teacher.

    September 3, 2004

    I park next to this particular car a fair amount at work so I walk by it frequently. This week I noticed what was hanging from the rearview mirror.
    Car Kitty

    More Movies
    Quentin Tarantino keeps popping up. First it was Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2. Then last weekend we watched Swingers, which we enjoyed. It is about of group of struggling actor types in LA, one of which has just been dumped by his girlfriend and the others of which alternately try to get him back in the game and tell him how annoying he is. There is one scene where the guys are arguing about Reservoir Dogs, a 1992 Tarantino movie (starring the aforementioned Michael Madsen). They talk about a scene in the movie and then the next scene starts off in the style of the scene they were talking about. Actually I am not sure this is absolutely true. I have never gotten up enough courage to see Reservoir Dogs but I have seen bits and pieces.

    So then we see Margaret Cho's film of her stand-up comedy routine I am the One I Want. Overall I enjoyed it. It was both raunchy and sweet. I particularly enjoyed the part where she talked about her TV sitcom and subsequent turn to alcohol and drugs after the show was canceled. She imitated her mother a lot which was fun at times. But some jokes just went on way too long.

    So the Tarantino part is when she is talking about her sitcom and she mentions that she was dating him at the time. I actually watched the sitcom a couple of times and he was on one episode. I had no idea who he was and they did a spoof of Pulp Fiction which I had not seen at the time. I did not really know what was going on but knew I probably should. It wasn't until I saw Pulp Fiction that I realized how many times I had seen it spoofed, including on The Simpsons and the Saturday morning cartoon Eek! The Cat.

    This movie also made me realize something about my taste in comedians. I like physical movement with my comedy. We watched the realty show Last Comic Standing this summer. I actually liked the one that won the best. I think the one that won second place was just as funny but the winner added a lot of movement to his routine and I thought it made things more interesting. Margaret Cho incorporated lots of movement. She had this wild little kung fu movement she used when she was talking about Asian stereotypes. I thought it was hilarious. Joe has already asked me to stop doing it.

Archived entries

August 2004 entries
July 2004 entries
June 2004 entries
May 2004 entries
April 2004 entries
March 2004 entries
February 2004 entries
January 2004 entries
December 2003 entries
November 2003 entries
October 2003 entries
September 2003 entries
August 2003 entries
July 2003 entries

Back to the McDonald Family page