Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Than Frybread - The movie

Twenty two tribes in Arizona sent their best frybread maker to Flagstaff to compete in the State of Arizona Frybread contest. The winner will go to New York City to compete in the national contest.
I loved this movie. Written, produced, directed and acted by Arizona Native Americans. In fact I believe nearly everyone involved were from the 22 tribes.
It is a "mock" documentary in the same vain as "Best of Show". It really drew me in. I found myself rooting for my favorite competitor and booing for those I didn't want to win. The judges are very serious about their task, as are the frybread security team. The movie is made even more real by the ongoing presence of a TV anchor who is reporting of the event. Great acting by the Frybread makers.
I urge you to check out this very special movie's web site and if you can find a showing, don't  miss it.
We saw it at the Spectrum Harkins.  Odd times and today is the last day. ( : > ((

Monday, May 28, 2012

Two movies I loved...

Two movies I loved
...but you may not even like.
And the common denominator of these two films is BLOOD.
On Saturday, I saw "Headhunters". Based on novel by Jo Nesbo, Norway's best read mystery writer, this is a thriller that really draws you in. Twists and turns at every scene. Yet it doesn't rely on the hand held shaky camera or fast cutting or editing so common in Hollywood movies. Each turn in the plot can be an "aha" moment. I liked it a lot. Clever  mysteries are worked out and a satisfactory ending, all worked for me. Warning. Lots of violence. In Norwegian, subtitled in English. At the Loft.

Today I saw "Dark Shadows" a Tim Burton film with Johnny Depp. I loved this movie. It was funny. Sometimes LOL, sometimes just snicker or a giggle but IMO really funny. The entire theater laughed. Set in 1972, the set and art direction made for a very good looking movie. The sound track with the Carpenters, the Eagles etc. and the fashions, older hippies all were reminders of early 70"s. The main actors, Depp. Michelle Phieffer, and Helen Bohnam Carter were great. But also were the minor actors that added so much to the movie.

Written and Directed by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. I loved it. No apologies.
I hope it becomes a cult film - and it may be one that I will buy. and watch every 6 months or so.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lonesome George

On reading this poem by X.J. Kennedy in the June issue of The Atlantic I was reminded that I had seen  George in May of 2008 at the Darwin Research center in the Galapagos Islands. 

The last of his line, he was unsuccessful in breeding after being rescued from one of the other islands, Pinta,  in 1971
George is said to be 100 years old.

No mate for him exists.
Last one of his subspecies,
he solemnly persists
in turning into feces 
eeelgrass brown and dry,
spine sprinkled cactus leaves.
Straining to gulp a fly,
he hastily retrieves
blunt head. Dead-ending male,
lone emblem of despair,
he slumps on his knees, his tail
antennaing the air.
For a long moment we bind
sympathetic looks,
we holdout of our kind,
like rhymed line, printed books.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The friendly whales of San Ignacio Bay, Baja

Having finally conquered my fear of my scanner (don't know what the origin of this phobia was) I was able to scan old photos of a very memorable trip I took around the Baja to experience the "friendly" gray whales of the lagoons of the west coast of the Baja Penninsula.
Took at Cetacean Society whale trip from San Diego to La Paz
The 5x6 cabin I shared with cousin Kris.

It was a family trip
MaggieMae, Aunt Clara, Cousin Kris, Twin sister Mary

The only predator of whales is the "wolf of the sea" the Orca

Aunt Clara watching Kris feel the baleen of the gray whale

MaggieMae in the foreground watching the mother and calf who
we name "Push and Shove" because the mother seemed to push her baby
up to the boats to have human contact. No one really know why and when
this behavior started.

Mary and I stand next to the scull of the whale.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The "Desert Willow"

The Flowering tree of May
Technically not a willow but assumes the willow's shape
Some trees large, some small as bushes
Blooms form clusters, resemble orchids
From nearly white to deep rose, contrasts against the sky

Friday, May 11, 2012

What happens when hospitals merge.

In the middle 1980's I was involved with the merging of St. Paul hospitals that resulted in the  closing of five smaller community hospital in the forming of the new hospital 'corporation' called Health East. Although this may be considered as a 'normal' evolution in the business of health care, it is not without great  affect on the lives of all of the staff, particularly middle management and staff. It also has has an impact on the community as patients find their favorite hospital closing.
Now as I spend two days in Tucson's Heart Hospital I am feeling the sense of loss to the staff and my friend, the patient, because of the planned moving of the Heart Hospital to St. Mary's Hospital since it has merged with the Carondelet Health Network. Although administrators and doctors would like to present a positive picture through the media to the community the sense of loss is felt from the dining room to the waiting room to the nursing stations. Good Luck to all involved. In time it will level out. It did in St. Paul.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Three very different movies

I have seen three very different movies lately.

The Kid with a Bike - a movie by the great Dardeene brothers from Belgium.
This is the story of a boy abandoned by his deadbeat dad who is fortunate to
serendipitously comes across a hairdresser who invests in helping him.
French subtitles. Deserves to be on you "wait" list to rent. 4****

Dot the i - This 2003 movie is IMO an excellent example to a thriller about a love triangle
with a very twisted plot. But if you don't stick with it 'till the very end you probably won't like it or get
it. I liked it a lot. 3*** for the person who likes mystery with surprise.

The Avengers - someone called this a "corporate retreat for super heros.
Not having seen the other Avenger movies I may not appreciate the
fact that this movie has broken so many records. And I did not read any
of these Marvel comics. Why did I go? Just because. I did like the Hunger
Games so I was hopeful for this one also. Lots of action and noise.
Some good one liners by the Iron Man. Only 2**. Let the kids go to this one.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Towel Animals

This is the last of our Carnival Cruise posts. If you haven't figured it out yet it wasn't one of our best choices. Loved the river cruises of Europe. And the cruises of the Greek Isles and Alaskan inland passage and Tahiti and Bora Bora. But this was BORING. As a friend says these big boat cruises are "for newly weds and nearly deads".  I might add for "those who can eat and drink 24/7". The highlight of each day was the one Cosmopolitan I had about 5 p.m. daily. And seeing what the cabin boy would do with a towel.

Friday, May 4, 2012

These were the the stops that we made in Cozumel and Mahogany Bay which had IMO artificial villages.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 1 at Sea

Left Miami in the rain. Unfortunately I slipped on deck which made me unable to take any of the very $$$$ shore excursions. Photos of Miami and the innards of the ship, which was really quite beautiful.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Back from the Caribbean Cruise

It wasn't the best of trips and it wasn't the worst of trips. We sailed on the Carnival Liberty and did the Western Caribbean. It was definetly a party boat, with lots of young people and families with children of all ages and also old people. And I shouldn't have been surprised that there were a lot of really really really big people. The ship was very cold and very noisy; piped in music nearly everywhere unless there was actually a band. Although we had a nice balcony, we could seldom sit out there because of smoking on either side. Nevertheless I will blog photos over the next several posts.