Laura's Online Journal October 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.

October 26, 2003 The Eye of the Beholder
October 23, 2003 2003 Christmas Contest
October 18, 2003
October 16, 2003 Weight Gain
October 10, 2003 Culture
October 5, 2003 Trailer Trash
September 2003 entries
August 2003 entries
July 2003 entries

Comments? Your movie reviews? I would love to hear from you!

Enough about you, let's talk about me....

October 26, 2003

The Eye of the Beholder
One of my numerous hobbies that result in piles of things scattered around the living room is making jewelry. I make mostly earrings and bracelets and then bestow them on all my relatives and friends whether they want them or not. Well I have something terrible to confess. My brother T and his wife Sandy's place was recently broken into and they stole most of Sandy's jewelry. I heard through the family grapevine that some jewelry was not taken including some bracelets. Well, I feared the worst - that my bracelets are not the works of art that I think they are. I talked to Sandy last night and despite feeling terrible that this happened to them I am proud to say that my bracelets were taken right along with Sandy's fine jewelry.

Lenore and Paula visited this weekend. Saturday we went to Eastern Market, and to Baltimore to have an Irish lunch at Aunt Zita's (she just returned from a trip to Ireland) and to visit the Visionary Art Museum. What a great museum! The museum focuses on artists who are self-taught, many just have a passion to create, many a mentally unstable obsession to create. (Joe says the making of this journal may fit into the latter category.) The museum web site has a better explanation. The exhibits are always interesting, sometimes funny, many times sad.

I took this as we were hurrying to leave Eastern Market to get to Baltimore. As soon as I took it I thought I should take another without the people in the background but decided I did not have time. Now that I see it I kinda liked those two guys in it.

Coffee and Flowers and 2 guys

Ice Cream Report
Sour Cherry Ice Cream, very good (****). Cherries were from Paula's cherry tree. (Thanks!)

October 23, 2003

2003 Christmas Contest
The 2003 McDonald Family Christmas Contest has been announced. For those who do not know about this it is something that started in 1990 and it just won't stop. Every Christmas the family competes in some sort of "art form" and it is a big ordeal - presentations, judges, bribes, backbiting, backstabbing, stolen costumes, name calling. The first contest was a short story about an Edward Gorey drawing and took place in Chicago at Lenore's place after eating Christmas goose and drinking manhattans. My grandfather, our friend Arlene and a Russian colleague of Zita's were judges. It was pretty low key that year. It was the next year that we made calendars and all hell broke loose when mom's bathing suit and jewelry box and someone's car keys were stolen to be used as bribes. Over the years we've made mobiles, an alphabet book for nephew Graeme, a touchy-feely book for nephew Little T, mosaics and puppets. There has been a poetry contest and Gilbert & Sullivan Karaoke. Last year was the White Trash Cookoff, probably the most successful. The comic strip contest also went quite well. This year we are making stuffed animals. Click the image to read the text.
Christmas Contest 2003

(How many can you name?)

Ice Cream Report
So far we have made peach (***), almond/almond nut (*****), green tea (*), grape (****). I was not so sure about the grape idea but it was quite good. Tart, sweet and creamy and, so far, the most colorful. Here's a picture.


October 18, 2003

Lots of stuff going on... I just cleaned out my front hall closet because it smelled really musty. I am making a batch of beer for Christmas, a porter. I got my haircut. The green tea ice cream did not turn out too well. Way too much excitement.

Some more movie reviews
What's Up, Tiger Lily Old 1960s Woody Allen film in which he takes a Japanese spy thriller and dubs it with his own dialogue. It was probably inovative at the time. Some of the dialogue was clever

And now before you nod off here is something to wonder about.


October 16, 2003

Weight gain
I came home one night last week and there was a a new appliance with its motor running in the kitchen. It did not take me long to figure out it was an ice cream machine. We had talked about getting one during the summer but had gotten discouraged when we found out that the one most highly recommended was no longer in production. It turns out another company took over production so here it sits next to the rice cooker in the kitchen. we really do not need another appliance but hey, it's ice cream! So far we have made 2 batches, peach and almond with nuts. This weekend we will try green tea ice cream.

Some more movie reviews
Lost In Translation This movie was an exploration of Japanese pop culture as well as the relationship between the two main characters. Bill Murray is great. The story drags a bit in the center but overall it was quite good. I was very aware of the director's framing of shots but this was not a bad thing.

Better Luck Tomorrow A group of smart Asian high school students gone bad. It was pretty good. I was interested in seeing this after seeing the director's first really low budget film Shopping for Fangs

Kandahar I was not sure I liked this Iranian film especially after the first 15 minutes or so. It was an odd story of a woman who tries to travel through Taliban country to get to Kandahar, Afganistan. It was a bit heavy handed and seemed somewhat thrown together and improvisational. But I did like the beautiful stark landscape and its contrast with the bright colors that would suddenly appear in things like clothing and vehicles.

October 10, 2003

I don't go to many performances from out-of-town dance companies anymore because I have been dissappointed in so many over the past couple of years. But last night I took a chance on a company that was highly reccommended and I was not disappointed this time. Two dance friends and I went to see Deborah Colker Dance, a company from Brazil, at the Kennedy Center and they were amazing. The combination of excellent dancers, the incorporation of visual art and imaginative choreography made this group exceptional.

Here are some pictures from their website. I would just send you there but data does not travel so fast from Brazil and I insist you see this. If you want more go to Cia. de Dança Deborah Colker

4x4 deborah colker 4x4 deborah colker
4x4 deborah colker 4x4 deborah colker

The new TV season has started and so far I am not impressed. Usually there are one or two shows that I really like and then after about 4 weeks they are cancelled. Some examples - Firefly, The Street, Greg the Bunny and The Tick. I was not even allowed that disappointment this year. But I am glad Scrubs is back and Angel has been given a breath of fresh air with a new setting and cast members from Buffy. I kinda liked Boomtown from last year and a couple of episodes aired this season but I just heard it was cancelled.

So I guess we'll be renting more movies and Sopranos' episodes.

Some more movie reviews
Sweet Home Alabama This was ok - small town southern girl embarrassed by her roots makes it big in NYC but has to go home to get a divorce so she can marry a rich successful guy. No surprises here.

8 mile A little bit Rocky, a little bit Flashdance, a little bit Cinderella. Eminem does a decent job and the story was pretty good. It was less violent than I thought it would be.

Blood Simple Early Coen Brothers film from 1984 with a very young Frances McDormand. It is about love, murder, double crossings and misunderstandings. It had a nice tight story and a nice look.

Lilo & Stitch We saw this on TV. What a cute movie! Nice story, great characters, interesting animation.

October 5, 2003

Trailer trash
Last weekend Joe and I went to the National Building Museum to see an exhibit on elavators and escalators. You may think this is about as interesting as an exhibit on homework and kleenex but it was really quite entertaining. I think the National Building Museum is one of the most beautiful buildings in DC and they have a great gift shop. We had lunch there and were entertained by a bird who wandered around the tables.
museum bird museum fountain
Taking photos
Here I am taking pictures of the fountain

The big excitement this week was the disassembling of the office trailer that used to house my office at work. The office trailer was assembled in 1991 and was supposed to be temporary. I moved in March 1998 and moved out a year ago when they finally realized the meaning of temporary and started moving people out. A bunch of us who had offices in the trailer watched and took pictures as they moved out the first set. We walked around the patch of mud left behind to see if there were any artifacts. Someone did find a Coke Classic can.

Perspective tractor
Entrance closest to the nearest building/bathroom Archeological site
My office was 3rd from the left

Archived entries

September 2003 entries

August 2003 entries

July 2003 entries

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