Thursday, November 23, 2006

Photo Friday - 'Evil' - plus a few updates

A couple of tough themes for me at Photo Friday ('Gross' last week and 'Evil' this -- the first one I've missed, I believe, since I started). For what it's worth, I'm not actually submitting this image (right) to the weekly contest (since it's clearly not a photograph taken by me), but I thought I'd go ahead and post it here, especially in light of the news story I heard yesterday morning listing C. Montgomery Burns (a/k/a 'Mr. Burns' from The Simpsons) as one of the richest fictional characters ever (second only to Oliver 'Daddy' Warbucks). An interesting list this 'Forbes Fictional Fifteen.' Other interesting characters included on the list are:
Jed Clampett (of the Beverly Hillbillies)
Mr. Monopoly
Mario (of Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, etc.)
and, my personal favorite:
Prince Abakaliki of Nigeria (of e-mail scam infamy)
(Click the link above for the full list)

One of my favorite 'Mr. Burns' moments doesn't really involve Mr. Burns at all, but rather, Homer pretending to be Mr. Burns. As usual, Homer fails miserably:

Homer:(affecting accent) "Hello, my name is Mr. Burns. I believe you have a letter for me."
Postal Worker: "Okay, Mr. Burns, uh, what's your first name?"
Homer: "...I don't know."
[click for audio link]

'Santa Claus' was #1 last year, but dropped entirely from the list this year, apparently because enough readers questioned his status as a 'fictional' character. Go figure! I mean, I enjoy Miracle on 34th Street (1947) as much as the next guy, but let's face facts!

While we're mingling real with fiction, anyway, here's another news story that caught my eye:
Manila stops real version of 'Snakes on a Plane'. Just when you thought SoaP news was done!

In other news, the November theme over at Self Portrait Challenge is 'Glam' and I've got nothin'! The gals over there (and a few guys, too) are doing a great job with the theme though, so check them out even though I'm not participating this month.

Films Recently Watched:

The Interpreter (2005) dir. by Sydney Pollack
In the bonus features on this DVD, Sydney Pollack does one of the best explanations of the widescreen vs. pan-n-scan issue that I've seen. It's great to see a director so passionate about the issue, showing the pan-n-scan framing, and saying to the audience, "this is not what I wanted you to see." He intended the widescreen framing and composed his shots based on that framing. I highly recommend the featurette. Oh, the movie was pretty good, too!

(Here's a youtube link to the widescreen vs. pan-n-scan featurette mentioned above.)

The Island (2005) dir. by Michael Bay

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) dir. by Guy Ritchie
Snatch (2000) dir. by Guy Ritchie
Hilarious! Not sure how I missed both of these for this long.

Fame (1980) dir. by Alan Parker
This was so different than I remember (re-mem-ba; re-mem-ba; re-mem-ba....oh, sorry about that). I think I probably mix memories of the subsequent television show with the film, though, it is entirely possible that I'd actually never seen the film at all. The film leaves LOT of loose threads hanging -- and not in the good, 'make-you-think' way. It's an ensemble cast and I think they just try to take on too many of the characters' back stories for a 2-hour film. At the end, it feels like it should have been about an hour longer, but that a lot of that extra footage hit the cutting room floor. Perhaps the television show resolves some of these plot lines. I can't remember (re-mem-ba; re-mem-ba; re-mem-ba -- FAME!!)

Happy Thanksgiving/Black Friday!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Photo Friday - 'Gross'

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To prove to the opossum that it could be done!

If you really want to see it bigger, clicking on it will show a larger version, but I really can't recommend it.

'cause it's 'gross' -- that's why!

If you enjoy the larger version, you might also enjoy some of the other entries in this week's 'gross' theme over at Photo Friday.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hannah's Day as a Flower Girl

This past weekend, Hannah was the flower girl in the wedding of a good friend from church.

Hannah had been pretty excited about the whole ordeal. Dress shopping, shoe shopping, shopping, shopping, shopping. Hannah is all-girl, so anything involving pretty dresses and fancy decorations, etc. is right up her alley.

We actually kept her home from daycare Thursday and Friday because she seemed to be coming down with some cold symptoms and we wanted her to get some rest so that she would be ready for the rehearsal Friday night and the wedding Saturday night.

She did well at the rehearsal. She got the idea of walking down the aisle alone and then leaving with the ring bearer, who was a couple years older than Hannah and had been a ring bearer before (he seemed less than enthused to be there).

Despite the rehearsal and all the excitement, you just never know how a four-year-old girl is going to react when they're faced with the task of walking, alone, down an aisle with a couple hundred people watching her. But she did it like a pro. She marched right down the aisle and hit her mark on the stage. And she sat there for a relatively long wedding ceremony, about 45 minutes. She fidgeted a bit now and then, but that's to be expected, I guess. At one point, despite my efforts to hide, she found me in the crowd and waved. I tried to hide again, but she just kept waving. So, I waved back, and that seemed to satisfy her. I was a little concerned that since she knew where I was that she then had the option of coming to me, but she never did. Her bouquet was what mainly kept her occupied, though. It had been dropped earlier in the day and some of the flowers had popped out of it. During the ceremony, she was continually picking up the ones that had fallen out and putting them back in, which caused others to fall out, and so on. She took her place in the recessional and then in the receiving line where, I'm quite certain, she ate up all the attention lavished upon her. Some people asked me with what we bribed her to get her to sit still for the whole ceremony. God's honest truth is that we just didn't. I'm not sure that they believed me -- heck, I barely believe me! But believe this: we are very proud of how well she did.

Hannah did well with the wedding photographer, but I guess she always does for 'professional' photographers -- not so much for me, though. It was funny - for the wedding photographer, she would do exactly as told -- put your arm like this, chin down, smile, etc. -- For me, she typically did exactly the opposite of what I was asking. I don't often ask her to pose for pictures as it's not really my style. Despite her best efforts, I did manage to get a few good shots of her big day. Here's a sampling of the best I got:
(click on any picture to see a larger size)

At the reception, she was 'announced' as part of the wedding party. She came in, ate some of her food and then after the first few slow dances were over and the upbeat music started, she found her way to the dance floor was stayed there for the duration of the night. Even when she was the only one on the dance floor she was out there dancing and watching her dress sway back and forth, but most of the time there were others out there having a good time and enjoying Hannah, too. The bridesmaids were really great with her - dancing with her and holding her occasionally. There weren't many kids there, but Hannah eventually managed to find a friend who was smaller than she.

She had rested earlier in the day for a bit, but hadn't really gotten a good nap like we wanted for her, but despite that, she was out there until nearly eleven o'clock before she admitted being exhausted. She was asleep before her head hit the pillow.

There's no doubt, it was a great day for her and for us.

Finally, one of my favorite pictures of the day -- and it doesn't even have Hannah in it! I kind of got lucky with this panning shot at 1/4 second exposure, but I really liked how it captured the Bride and her Father walking down the aisle:

Films Recently Watched:

Sergeant York (1941) dir. by Howard Hawks

Raging Bull (1980) dir. by Martin Scorsese

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) dir. by Charles Crichton

Million Dollar Baby (2004) dir. by Clint Eastwood

Hulk (2003) dir. by Ang Lee

Panic Room (2002) dir. by David Fincher

Photo Friday - 'Light'

A pretty wide-open theme at Photo Friday this week ('Light'), so I'm posting one of my personal favorites (and currently my most 'interesting' photo on my Flickr photostream:

At the Twilight's Last Gleaming...