Monday, May 26, 2014

More Glories of Nature from This Weekend's Park Visits

Enjoy some more glorious beauty from Inniswood:

 Thanks for letting me share!  


There's the Face!

In a visit to our favorite park, Inniswood Metropark, on April 19, we spotted what we thought might be a turtle face underwater.  Because the water was a little murky, and the face was surrounded by mud, we weren't really sure if it was actually a face, or just an illusion on a rock.  Once we got home and looked at our photos, we thought it looked more like a face, but again, we weren't sure.  Here is what we photographed that day:

Today, we saw the face again, and now we are 99% sure this is what we saw in the mud.  Take a look and see what you think:

These were both taken at the lower pond where there seems to be LOTS of turtle activity this year.  On Saturday, we saw at least 3 large turtles in the water.  Today, 2 of them were on the banks posing for photographers.  

We went early today  (10 am is early for us!), and we were hoping to see more bird activity, but alas we saw less than we saw on Saturday afternoon.  We did manage to photograph a bluebird, but the pictures weren't great because we were photographing up into a tree in the shade, so I'm not going to post them here. 

Our park continues to thrill us with every visit! The weather has been glorious this weekend.  I hope you are all enjoying your favorite outdoor activity this weekend!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Blue Jasmine - Movie Review

Today's review is of an Academy Award nominated film written and directed by Woody Allen - Blue Jasmine.

Leading actors in the movie were Cate Blanchett who won Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of the title character Jasmine, and Alec Baldwin who plays a Bernie Madoff-esque schemer.

The movie is a drama about people who make bad choices and how those bad choices affect the people in their relationships.  The drama begins when Jasmine arrives in San Francisco from New York to stay with her sister after her marriage has ended.  The backstory is then told in a series of flashbacks.  At first, it was a little confusing to know what was now and what was flashback, but it didn't take long to catch on.  I found myself wondering if some audience members might have found that flashback element confusing even longer than I did.  A big theme of the movie is the culture-clash between the two sisters.

I was surprised to see Louis C.K. with a small role, and even more surprised to see Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky with an even smaller role.  

On Oscar night, I was very disappointed when Cate beat out my Academy Award choice of Meryl Streep.  (See my previous review of August: Osage County for which Meryl was nominated.)  After having seen Cate's performance, I can understand a little better why she won, but their performances were very similar.  They both played women who were self-medicating with pills and alcohol to deal with their bad memories and experiences.  In both cases their self-medicating was affecting their family members.  They were both extremely good at portraying that state of "medication" in consistent and realistic ways without being over-the-top. 

I am glad I saw the movie, but I wouldn't say it was enjoyable.  It is not an adventure, thriller or action movie - no guns, car chases or explosions, so that was good.  However, I will say that I found the story a bit predictable.  I will also say that the ending was frustrating.  (No spoilers here!)

This didn't really seem like a typical Woody Allen movie.  The fact that he wasn't in it, helps.  Usually when he is in his own movie, his character is the total focus.  Maybe it is a good thing that it wasn't a typical Woody Allen movie.  If I wouldn't have known that before watching it, I doubt I would have guess it.  

Overall, if you like dramatic stories about people making bad choices and what happens as a result, then this is the movie for you.  If you are looking for any laughs, you might want to try something else.

Happy Viewing!