November 23, 2003

Self in dimness

me in Red SquareI'd never tried the self-timer on this camera before. It works. Beck and I went to see Grupo Corpo, a Brazilian dance company at the Meany Theatre at UW on Friday night. After the show the stairs down to the parking garage were clogged so we went outside for a bit. This is about a three-second exposure (metered by the camera) of me standing in Red Square. I bumped up the brightness, but it's otherwise straight off the camera. Click the thumbnail for the full-size version if you actually want to see anything.

The dancers were fabulous. Strongly recommended if you get the opportunity to see them. There's a little video clip of them doing an earlier piece at this site. The group seems to have registered, but there's nothing there yet (except one of those annoying domain registration ads).

Posted by jeffy at 03:15 PM in Photo Log | Comments (0)

Water, water

water under the bridgeIssaquah Creek flooded the path under NW Sammamish Road again after nearly 3 inches of rain fell on November 13th. Hopefully the city will be quick about clearing the mud and muck as they were last time.
These leaves were drifting in the water lapping on the trail at the flood's highest extent.leaves in water
flooded trailThe other end of the bridge under-crossing with the swollen creek rushing beyond the thin screen of trees.
Oak leaves fallen in curious symmetry.twinned oak leaves
Posted by jeffy at 02:37 PM in Photo Log | Comments (1)

Rose hips

rose hipsmore rose hips
While these look like cherry tomatoes at first glance, they are actually rose hips, the fruit of the rose plant, in this case some sort of wild rose that grows in great profusion along Pickering Trail.

I was not the only one showing interest in the rose hips on this day. The doe below was accompanied by her antler-clad pal (when classifying a deer buck as "n-point", does one count all the points on both sides of said deer's rack, or only one side? I saw at least three, maybe four on one side on the fellow who sidled into the brush before I could take his picture.)

A friend told me that the farther north they grow, the higher the vitamin C content in rose hips.

Do deer get scurvy?

mule deer eating rose hips

Posted by jeffy at 01:19 AM in Photo Log | Comments (1)

November 20, 2003


I'm behind on my blogging.

I have 3 book reviews to write:

  • repeat reading of A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
  • Illegal Alien by Robert Sawyer
  • Moonheart by Charles de Lint

I have 7 movie reviews to do.

  • Lost In Translation
  • Door To Door
  • Laurel Canyon
  • The Matrix: Revolutions
  • Love Actually
  • A Mighty Wind
  • What A Girl Wants

I have half a dozen low-rez pictures I'd like to get up (more flooding, rose hips, deer, autumn leaves)

I have a couple more substantive posts in progress.

This doesn't count my round-the-house todo list or my work todo list or my friends of the library todo list.

I'll try to catch up, but instead I may give up. At least with this post here you'll know what you're missing.

Posted by jeffy at 03:42 PM in Administrivia | Comments (3)

November 15, 2003

Punch-Drunk Love

punchdrunk.jpegPaul Thomas Anderson wrote and directed this movie. If you've seen any of his other work (Magnolia especially), just knowing that tells you that the movie is going to be an experience.

Adam Sandler plays Barry Egan. He's got his own business (novelty toilet plungers, but there's only one gag having to do with that (and it's in the preview)). He's got a whole raft of older sisters who are nearly indistinguishable from one another.

The events of the film are more or less mundane, but they paint a picture of Sandler's character. He starts off the movie afraid and confused, but as he begins to fall in love with Emily Watson's character, he starts pushing through the fear and acting out of love. This is complicated by the fact that having grown up with a raft of sisters who express their love for him by teasing him incessantly, his reactions to his feelings of love are all tied up with the feelings of angry frustration that his sisters have always inspired in him.

The DVD has some surreal extra features including some deleted scenes that further illuminate this contradictory array of feelings that Sandler operates under. Emily Watson is an interesting choice as his love interest, playing the part as both clumsily seductive and strangely maternal. It's a weird little movie. Good, though.

Posted by jeffy at 06:40 PM in Movie Reviews | Comments (0)


dd.jpgI knew this would be awful, but I had to watch it. I was never a rabid comic book fan as a kid, but for several years I was an avid reader of Daredevil. He's a blind superhero whose other senses were augmented by the toxic waste that blinded him. By day he's a lawyer, by night he takes care of the cases he loses by hunting down the baddies and taking them out. He's a pretty dark character.

The movie is a mess. It's trying to be edgy and rock-and-roll, and just comes off as over-calculated and vapid. Jennifer Garner plays Electra. Daredevil and Electra have a little wire-work courting fight, but it just looks fake (never mind the fact that he has this fight as his lawyer self which sort of blows the whole blind guy cover you'd think...) Ben Affleck as Daredevil is stiff and smarmy. Part of it is the costume, but this is really the worst thing I've seen him in.

Posted by jeffy at 06:34 PM in Movie Reviews | Comments (0)

Alex and Emma

alexemma.jpgI would have dearly loved to have walked out of this movie, but since we were watching it on an airplane it wasn't really an option.

Luke Wilson plays Alex, a writer with writer's block. He borrowed money from some gangsters and lost it gambling so they're going to kill him unless he comes up with the bucks. He can only pay them back if he finishes his new book and collects the money for it. But he has writer's block so he hires a court stenographer to take dictation of the book. The usually delightful Kate Hudson plays the stenographer.

As they begin to work on the book, the movie splits and shows the action of the book as it is written and revised intermixed with the "real" world of Alex and Emma who start off being prickly toward each other and then lighten up and fall in love. Oops, told you the end. Rob Reiner directed this disaster. I can see how the pitch might have sounded good, but when you've got a writer writing a really stupid book, you've got to balance it with a real-world story that is solid and meaningful. Instead, the movie story is exactly the same story as that in the book, and they're both unspeakably idiotic. Don't waste your time.

Posted by jeffy at 06:21 PM in Movie Reviews | Comments (0)

November 08, 2003

Lost glove #9

rubber glove on a sidewalkI don't know if you can really say that a disposable glove is "lost", but this one was sitting alone in the middle of the Rainier Trail on a recent sunny day.

Previous lost gloves:

#8 | #7 | #6 | #5 | #4 | #3 | #2 | #1

Posted by jeffy at 10:58 AM in Lost Gloves , Photo Log | Comments (0)

High water mark

20031108000T.jpgBack on October 21st, Issaquah got over 5 inches of rain. Issaquah Creek didn't flood as badly as it has in past years, but it still rose enough to inundate the Pickering Trail where it passes under NW Sammamish Road leaving behind several inches of smelly muck. It's smelly because we're in the midst of the salmon run and a large constituent of the muck is bits of decaying salmon. Yuck. The trail is open again now which makes me happy since it makes my bicycle commute several minutes shorter and cuts out a crossing of a busy street.
Posted by jeffy at 10:47 AM in Photo Log | Comments (0)

November 07, 2003

School of Rock

We watched this on a Sunday night in Hershey, Pennsylvania with a theatre full of teenagers. Jack Black plays an aspiring rock-and-roll guitar god. Now, you have to understand that this is a very specific flavor of rock-and-roll we're talking about in this movie. Think Cheap Trick and that kind of theatrical, epic guitar-heavy, make-your-ears-bleed power rock. Black's character is into this stuff, but the band he's in takes themselves seriously in a completely different way than Black does and find his antics embarassing at best, so they fire him. Naturally Black tries to form his own band, but gets no takers.

Meanwhile his roommate, a substitute teacher played by screenwriter Mike White, is trying to keep a relationship alive with his shrewish girlfriend, and delivers an ultimatum to Black: get a job and pay the rent, or get out.

This all sets the stage for Black to accept a substitute teaching job in White's name. And this is where you have to turn your suspension-of-disbelief knob up to eleven. Black manages to snow the extremely tightly-wound headmistress (played with wonderful depth and feeling by the inimitable Joan Cusack) and the rest of the teachers into thinking he knows what he's doing. And then when he turns his class of fourth-graders into a power rock band (and roadies and stage crew and costume designers and lighting designers and...), somehow no one in the school hears them or in any other way hears about the fact that the class isn't learning anything except rock history and practice.

The kids are adorable. Black takes a role that could easily be either brashly repulsive or sickeningly sweet and somehow manages to be neither. His character's love of the music is pure and complete and his dealings with the kids are always respectful and encouraging.

The movie has a slightly schmaltzy vibe to it, but somehow director Richard Linklater never lets it descend into formula. It's no masterpiece of the cinema, but it's a perfectly watchable feel-good movie.

Posted by jeffy at 07:38 PM in Movie Reviews | Comments (0)

Dino Rossi for Governor


Pleasing to Remember is holding Senator Rossi's record up to the light, and it's not a pretty sight.

Prior posts at Pleasing to Remember detail possible positive outcomes of the Dino Rossi for Governor campaign and evidence of the caliber of Rossi's political capabilities.

Rossi would be an ineffectual governor at best. I don't want to contemplate the worst that he could be. The challenge is for the democrats to show what a worthless choice he is and field a candidate that offers a reasonable alternative.

Posted by jeffy at 02:48 PM in Soapbox | Comments (3)