Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Big Year - review

You may have to be a birder to appreciate this movie fully. I am not nearly the birder that the pepople in this film but I do like going out to the trees and bushes and water ways to look for birds. Be they familiar or rare I enjoy seeing their beauty and their movement.

I loved this movie. It is based on the book by the same name of 3 very different meant who want o log the most bird species seen in a calendar year - New Years to New years. Owen Wilson is the "best birder in the world" based on previous records. Steve Martin is the wealthy entrepreneur ready to retire and try the "big year". Jack Black is a 30 something that simple loves bird watching. To him the record affirms that his hobby is respectably more than just a hobby.

The direction is good. The cinematography fabulous. Since the contest encompasses the Continental US one gets a tour of many states. Birds of the various ares are written in white across the screen. Be sure to day for the credits as photos of many birds flash by.

5***** for birders, 3-4**** for others.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nordstrom's rack

Nordstroms's rack just opened south of the Tucson Mall. John Nordstrom emigrated to the US in 1887 at the age of 16. Soon he joined the Klondike gold rush. And with the profits he gleaned he returned to Settle and started the Nordstrom's shoe store next to his partner's shoe repair store.

He and his family did well and still maintain control of the company.

I visited the store shortly after the opening.
IMO it was not in my price range.

Nor in my style range.

Howevwe since they started as a shoe store, I did find a patent leather pair of "blue jean" shoes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street - Tucson

An 85 year old retired MD, grandfather, recovering Republican got angry enough to attend the "Occupy Wall Street" in Tucson protest rally. This is his first attendance at such an event.
Attendees were of all ages - from infants with parents to many senior citizens and their dogs. All were concerned about the future of the U.S. From economics to war to education to jobs to health care to poverty. To all the things that concern the 99% and are ignored by the 1%.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review of "Ides of March"

George Clooney directs this movie adapted from the play by Beau Willimon titled Farragut-North loosely based on the 2004 campaign of Howard Dean. This play was praised by critics and only warmly accepted by audiences.

It is story of Governor Morris (Clooney) running to win the Democratic primary in Ohio. On his staff is Phillip Seymour Hoffman
as the campaign manager and Ryan Gossling as the media expert. Marisa Tome plays a journalist befriending the players to get the big scoop. IMO the film belongs to Gossling as he sees his ideals trashed.

The plot has many twists that prevent me from revealing too much. Lets just summarize it as it is about: Loyalty, betrayal, ethics, integrity, blackmail, manipulation.

It is about the characteristics we hope our politicians have but are often see them shadowed by self interest.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Movie Review -50/50

This film is based on the true events in the fight with cancer of comedy writer Will Reiser. At age 27 while seeking diagnosis for back pain he hears that he has an extensive malignant tumor in his spine. Staring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (first known as the young man in 3rd rock from the Sun) as Adam the Will Reiser character. He has matured as an actor and came in to this role by default when another actor who could not take the part. How lucky are we. He does a fabulous job at depicting the complex emotions of a cancer patient. Seth Groben, a real life friend of Reiser's plays himself as the main support person during Adam's bout with cancer. Director Johnathan Levine does a fine job of balancing the humor and the tears. Supporting actor's Anna Kenrick (Up in the Air) as a therapist and Anjelica Houston as Adam's mother add dimension to the story.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Blessing of the Animals

Blessing of the animals has been an annual event in many communities. World Animal Day is celebrated on Oct. 4th and The Blessing of the Animals is celebrated on the closest Sunday.
It started in 1931 in Florence Italy. This date was chosen because it is the date of the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals.

Today this event is celebrated by animal lovers of all beliefs, nationalities and backgrounds. Several services were offered in this Arizona community from several Christian churches.

Why do people flock with their pets to these celebrations? I can only speak for myself. It is a great social event and photo opportunity. People love their pets, be they dog, cat, rat, bird or snake. Here Father Dan, admitting that he is not fond of reptiles holds a corn snake that is the pet of a proud young boy.

I was not able to attend this year, but Buddy's BFF, called and asked if she could take him to be blessed since he has had a truly bad past 6 months.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yarn Bomb -A new kind of graffiti

I just heard about "yarn bombing" this week and fell in love with the images.
This fabric street art is believed to be started by
women in Texas as a way to use up left over yarn.

They can be very elaborate on cars or buses. Bikes are very popular. Or they can be small such as this daisy on a bench from the University of Arizona.
Or any size in between. Bombs on public area are technically illegal but are not often prosecuted. They are not meant to last and can be easily removed.

Photos from Google Images.
Search Yarn Bombs for many other bombs.