Saturday, July 31, 2010

Going Places

So I'm in the process of getting my passport! Yep! You never know when you might have to hop on a plane to London, Paris or Rome. The first step is to get a copy of my birth certificate. I filled out the form and it will be notarized and in the mail Monday. After that, I submit my passport application.

The only foreign country I've ever visited was Mexico. I've been to the border cities: Juarez in 1969 and Nogales in 1985. No big deal. Everyone spoke English. I've never seen so many tacky velvet paintings in my life.

My Aunt Betty was in Rome (actually she was stranded there on 9/11). My mother-in-law went to Austria. My friend Mark went to France (twice!) My co-worker Annie went to Ireland last year. Friends from church went to Israel. Other friends from church went on mission trips to Russia, Africa, Cuba, Haiti and Canada. Hubby was in Russia and Sicily. My dad was in Germany and Suriname. My grandfather was at Guadalcanal in WWII, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a pleasure trip.

So here I am. Ready for my own adventure. I'd love to go to Europe. Particularly London and Paris. I would also enjoy a Tour of Italy (and I'm not talking about the entree at Olive Garden). I've been studying French and Italian off and on for years so I'm prepared for whatever comes my way.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Kent Channels Gene Kelly

Jose and Kent

This week on "So You Think You Can Dance" featured some amazing performances. Kent and Jose did a Broadway routine reminiscent of the classic Gene Kelly/Donald O'Connor style. It blew my socks off!

Then Billy and Robert tackled a Bollywood routine. It was INSANE!!!

Billy and Robert

Unfortunately, Jose and Billy left the show this week leaving four dancers to compete for America's Favorite Dancer: Kent, Lauren, Robert and AdeChike.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Picture This!

I'm chasing down my dream. Finally signed up for a digital photography class this fall! I've been wanting to do this for years but it never seemed to fit my schedule...until now.

A little history: In high school I fantasized about being a photographer for National Geographic. My parents had subscribed to that magazine for years; in fact, my dad still has every single issue from 1970 to 1975.  I dreamed I would travel the world with my camera and live a glamorous, adventurous life. But God had other plans and I got married, had two kids, and got a Master's in psychology. Go figure.

Anyway, I continued to pursue photography as a hobby. I'm the family picuture-taker and capture precious family moments on film (until we went digital, that is). But I also photograph what I call "art" shots. I walk around and find something interesting to shoot. What can I say? It's who I am. It's what I do.

I took this photo of the side of building downtown where I work.
The open window at the top tells a story.
I love the contrasting textures of the wall.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Revolutionary Road

I  finally got around to watching "Revolutionary Road" this week. It's about a 1950s suburban couple (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) with two children who feel trapped by society's expectations and are living a lifestyle they despise. They want to escape to Paris to live the life they want; a life that breaks the boundaries of the "American Dream"; Kate will work and support Leo, who will have the freedom to find his true calling. Their hopes are dashed when Kate becomes pregnant and Leo gets a promotion and a lot more money.

I recorded this movie on DVR and have watched it three times this week. The performances are amazing, the cinematography is breathtaking and the music is haunting. I would have to say this is one of the best films I've ever seen. Not so much the story as the combination of all the elements that make a great movie.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Hubby and I went to see "Inception" Sunday night. If you blink, you'll miss the whole plot. Very complex but totally intriguing. It's like "The Matrix" meets "Sneakers." Leo rocked, as usual.

Inception in the movie means to put an idea in someone's mind subconsciously. Leo is an Inceptionist.

The special FX were amazing. Especially the scene where the city wrapped around itself and Leo and Ellen Page were walking on the walls and the upside down street that turned right side up. I also enjoyed the anti-gravity scene where everyone is wired to the dream machine and floating in the air and Joseph Gordon-Levitt has to try to wake them up with a "kick" which is the sense of falling that jolts them out of the dream. 

Interesting "facts" about the dream world: 10 hours of real world time gives one hour in the dream. Also there are totems that the dreamer carries to test whether or not he is dreaming or in reality.

As if that weren't enough drama, there's a mystery involving Leo and his deceased wife.

I give it four out of five stars for the fascinating plot and exceptional performances.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Leonardo DiCaprio

So why is it that all of a sudden I'm a huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio? Yes, I've always liked his movies but as an actor he was nothing to write home about. Until now.

I think it has a lot to do with his maturity and the choices he's made in selecting films. He has the luxury of being selective. He seems to have good instincts in choosing excellent roles.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) -- Double whammy with Johnny Depp!
Romeo and Juliet (1996) -- Claire and Leo sitting in a tree...K-I-S-S-I-N-G
Marvin's Room (1996) -- Tortured teen with a crazy mom.
Titanic (1997) -- BEST LOVE STORY EVER! I cried for weeks.
Gangs of New York (2002) -- Head to head with Daniel Day Lewis.
Catch Me If You Can (2002) -- Edge of my seat. Hanks in horn rims. Yeah!
The Aviator (2004) -- Star power: Cate, Kate, John C., Alec.
The Departed (2006) -- More star power: Matt, Jack, Mark, Martin (and Alec once again)
Blood Diamond (2006) -- Leo's poignant action movie. See Leo. See Leo run. Run, Leo, run!
Revolutionary Road (2008) -- Leo and Kate reunited as Ozzie and Harriet.
Shutter Island (2010) -- Leo the gumshoe.
Inception (2010) -- TBA!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bagel Shop at Hingham, Massachusetts

So here we are in Hingham, Mass on the 4th of July getting ready for the Big Parade. We stop off at a bagel shop for breakfast. Hubby, Luke, Liz, Vanessa and Lily. FYI, I got a poppy seed bagel with cream cheese and iced hazelnut coffee.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kent and Billy!

Kent and Neil "Damn Yankees"

This week on "So You Think You Can Dance," Kent and Billy were amazing!

Kent's Broadway routine with Neil was INSANE! They performed "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo" from "Damn Yankees." Breathtaking acrobatics, high energy, wonderfully entertaining, awesome costumes and nice prop work with baseball bats.

In his second dance, he performed a contemporary dance with AdeChike to the song "You Only Disappear" by Tom McRae. Those two together were beautiful. 

This was Kent's best week ever. He has a shot at winning now that Alex is gone. Poor Alex tore his Achilles tendon and is out of the competition. He was by far the best dancer the show has ever seen. Hopefully he will be back next season.

Lauren and Billy

Billy Bell ruled the school this week, too! His jazz dance with Lauren was incredible ("Boogie Shoes" by KC and the Sunshine Band). I loved Mandy Moore's choreography and the story of shoes that meet and start dancing together.

I also enjoyed Jose's Broadway routine "Mr. Cellophane." The judges hated it, but I thought it was terrific. Lovin' Jose the sweet B-Boy.

My favorites are Kent, Billy, Robert and Jose.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Boston in a Day and a Half

Luke and Vanessa on Ferry

So yesterday Luke took Vanessa and me to the market place at Faneuil Hall. I bought a Boston sweatshirt and hat and picked up some souvenirs for Jen, Parris and Jaden. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and we all ordered the Legendary Burger and the Vanilla Shake. After that we took a tour of Boston Harbor on a ferry and I got some amazing photos. Then we took the trolley through town and saw the historical sites.

Cityscape from Ferry

For you history buffs, Faneuil Hall is located near the waterfront and has been a market place and meeting hall since 1742. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams and others who encouraged independence from Britain. It's also known as the "cradle of liberty."

Faneuil Hall Market; Crowd Watching Street Performer

The Market

The trolley stopped near a park where they were making a movie. Our tour guide said that most of the famous TV shows set in Boston were actually filmed in Hollywood: Cheers, Boston Legal, Allie McBeal, State of the Union.

Making a Movie

Despite the heat and humidity, we had a great time. We went back to Faneuil Hall before heading home and watched Magician Mike, a street performer. A funny guy. See more photos of Magician Mike at My Theatre Blog.

Magician Mike Street Performer

This morning, Hubby, Vanessa and Luke went on a helicopter ride over the city. So amazing!

I Love Boston!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Boston on the 4th!

That's right, gang. We are in Boston Mass on the 4th of July! People lighting fireworks everywhere! We're on the beach at Hull and the party has started. I'm spending the day with my FAMILY!!! My son Lucas (cool, funny geek), my daughter-in-law Liz (beautiful cat woman), my granddaughter Lily (age 5 cute little princess) and Vanessa (age 16 sweet and totally cool). Of course hubby is along for the ride.

There also a few animals in the family. Four cats (Jill, Tom, Ben and Baby) and a dog named Harley. Harley is a corgi mix and likes to chase rocks. In fact, HE rocks!!!

More later.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Going to Boston!

Hubby and I will be in Boston all week visiting Luke and family! We're flying out on Saturday. I went shopping with Alison and bought some vacation togs. Any excuse to shop, right? She suggested a picture book for Lily -- "Ladybug Girl." SO CUTE!!!

We'll get to see Vanessa, too -- our 16-year-old granddaughter who is flying out from California! Woo Hoo!

Best vacation EVER!!!

Stay tuned...