Thursday, July 06, 2006

Five Years Ago

That Jeremy passed away, that is, July 6, 2001. This anniversary is the first in which the events of that time (he died on July 6 but he suffered his massive cerebral hemorrhage two days earlier, on the 4th) seem like part of the landscape of my life, not something I have to focus on to the exclusion of all else (or have to spend all my energy NOT focusing on them.)

Today my biggest challenge is working up the motivation to update that spreadsheet for work. Which could, in fact, be evidence of continuing dispiritedness but I think more likely I'm just feeling lazy.

Tuesday evening Naoyuki and I had over the neighbors and their little kids (9, 6, and 3), plus our friends who just moved here from Ann Arbor to join Naoyuki at Roswell Park. A pleasant time. We set up the folding tables in the atrium, turned on the cafe lights, and let the dusk creep in and the lighting level go down as we ate sliced ham, potato salad, tuna salad, tomatoes and cucumbers, fruit salad, walnut / pear salad, two types of cherries, and fruit pizza. Then we went to the Amherst Audubon Golf Course for a semi-long distance view of the fireworks over UB. (Summer days are so long here that the fireworks don't start until about 10 p.m., which kind of boggles me.)

Jeremy would have approved.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

In the Everglades, May 2004

Here is -- Doctahboy! A.k.a. Naoyuki G. Saito, M.D, Ph.D., physician / scientist at one of the oldest cancer hospitals in the U.S. He makes me laugh every day, and that's not his only talent. What more could I want?

Badding Bros.

Naoyuki is the gardener, I'm the gardener wannabe. Together we make a reasonably good team; I'm happy to dig and plant and move sprinklers around. He's good at determining what to plant (with lots of input from me about "ooh, I like that" or "nah, does nuttin' for me"), plus watering, and pruning and that good stuff.

Badding Bros. is one of the innumerable produce / garden markets in the area, just a few miles north of us on Transit Road. It's smaller than some of its nearby rivals but it has a nice mix of stuff (summer vegetables and fruits), annuals and hanging pots for days, plus a nice selection of perennials. And often good sale prices on plants, although that's somewhat offset by being a bit overpriced for things that aren't on sale.

Today, though, we obtained another peony ($6.99), plus four delphiniums, six sea thrift, and six dwarf asters. Most of which will go nicely in the corner bed at the rear of the house (where we already have a good half dozen peonies, a Virburnum, a few sedums, and several hostas.) The delphiniums will go on the other side of the deck, next to the yuccas, replacing the lupines, which haven't done so well (we think the deer have been eating them.) Which leaves figuring out where to move the lupines. I'm guessing under the pines between our house and Art's, next to the bee's balm.

(If I were a really clever boy, I would look up online references to all of these and include links but I'm not that obsessive -- well, not at the moment, anyway!)

Plus 2 containers of strawberries, 2 containers of cherries, 2 containers of English peas. All homegrown. It's that time of year in Western New York.

In other words, a typical summer Saturday morning for us. Later I'll call David and Emily and say, "well, and we bought more plants" and they'll say, "You have no life!"


What could they mean?


Up, Up and Kevin Spacey!

We went to see Superman Returns last night, the IMAX 3D version. I rather liked it, despite many flaws, and that's just as well -- it has franchise written all over it.

Flaws first:

The action sequences were often too jumbled / visually cluttered / fast to make much sense of. Maybe it wouldn't be so severe in a regular, non-IMAX, non-3D version. Or maybe I'm just too old to parse visual information that quickly.

Likewise, some of it seemed pretty unrealistic. Now, I know that's a silly thing to say about a movie whose central character defies all the laws of physics but I kept thinking, "wouldn't she (Lois) have broken her neck by now -- or at least a fingernail?"

Brandon Routh is quite a cutie and he has a nice bod but he doesn't have the same presence Christopher Reeve had in the original. You've got to give Reeve the credit -- he took a skinny (6'4, 180 lb.) models body and packed on 40-50 lbs. of muscle to play the part. His muscles were real and it showed. From what I can tell Brandon's are real, too; I didn't see any overt evidence of padding. But I'd be a bit surprised if he tops 200 lbs. He seems boyish compared to Reeve, although I'm guessing he's about the same age Reeve was in the original. (Note to self: Check

On the plus side:

I thought it was a nice story.

Superman goes to find his destiny, the rest of us go on with our lives, and then he comes back. He's a good boy so he doesn't expect a standing ovation just for showing up. He has fences (and hearts) to mend and he works hard at it. That's what he does, after all. The interactions with Lois and the kid and the new boyfriend had a genuine sweetness to them, although I can see how some people would be impatient with it all. Not enough whiz-bang-pow!

Better yet, from my point of view, Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey did bang up jobs as Lex Luthor and moll / sidekick. They didn't camp it up nearly as much as did Gene Hackman and Ned Beatty but that could be because Spacey and Posey (especially) are campy enough in their own right.

Lex Luthor had some hunky henchmen, too, which is always fun. David Fabrizio and Ian Roberts are hubba-hubba inducing. And I didn't realize that Kal Penn (who co-starred in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, one I've never gotten round to watching) was such a cutie. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for more of him.

Definitely worth the price of admission.