Three Days, Three Movies

Self has been so starved for movies.

In a prevous life, she’d be in her local cine-plex every other day.

The past couple of years, though, unless she feels really driven, she’ll go months without seeing a movie.

Here are some of the ways she shows her movie geek street cred:

Oxford, UK: She gave up seeing the Ashmolean in favor of watching Captain America (In all fairness, the movie theatre was so conveniently situated: just across from Gloucester Green)

London: She walked — walked — in full summer heat, from Russell Square to Shaftesbury Avenue, simply to watch X-Men in the Odeon.

Fort Bragg, CA: She went during a lull in a storm. The movie? Kingsmen, with Colin Firth. When she came out of the movie, the wind was blowing flat out. Self thought she was going to be swept into the ocean.

Now, in the past four days, she has seen three movies:

  • Band Aid
  • Beatriz at Dinner
  • Wonder Woman

Sorry to say, she nearly fell asleep during the action sequences at the end of Wonder Woman. But woke right up again when she saw, in the closing credits, the name of her friend’s daughter:

DIRECTED BY PATTY JENKINS

Of the movies she’s seen so far this summer, her favorite would be Beatriz at Dinner. For Connie Britton and John Lithgow’s performances.

Today, she’s going to see The Book of Henry, even though it hasn’t gotten good reviews. She loves Naomi Watts, even though she’s been so under-used by Hollywood lately.

A long time ago, self met a Mills College student at one of her San Francisco readings. Chatting with the young woman after the reading, the student revealed she made money by working part-time as an exotic dancer. And self happened to mention how much she liked Naomi Watts (What’s the connection to exotic dancing? Nothing), and the young woman said even though Watts had turned 40, if the young woman were a man, she’d definitely consider her hot.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More H2O: From Self and Others

For this week’s challenge, share a photo that features H2O: the element of water.

Lingnum Draco for The Daily Post (7 October 2016)

Below, two WordPress blogs whose shots of H2O were inspiring:

Here are self’s own shots of H2O:

The first two shots are of the Thames near Oxford.

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Spring 2016: the Thames in Oxford

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Riverboat on the Thames: Don’t leave Oxford without going on one of these!

Here’s a view of the Slaney Estuary in County Wexford, Ireland:

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Slaney Estuary, County Wexford, Ireland: May 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Narrow: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 29 Friday 2016

  • From spaghetti to the quiet alley behind your house, this week show us something narrow.

—  Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

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Manhattan, June 2016

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In Manhattan, the Avenues are narrow canyons between buildings: Park Avenue, June 2016

For a change of scene, Oxford, UK had an exhibit on “Shakespeare’s Dead.” Self was there in May 2016. The banner advertising the exhibit is pretty narrow:

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An exhibit at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, UK: May 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Details 3: Memories of England, Before Brexit, May/June 2016

For this week’s challenge, try to look past the big picture and take a more intimate approach.

—  Jen H., The Daily Post

Russell Square, London, June 2016

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Dogs Just Seem To Love Fountains! Russell Square: June 2016

The Millenium Pedestrian Bridge (Also known as the Harry Potter Bridge), heading from the Globe, South Bank, towards St. Paul, June 2016 (Self had spent the day at the huge Tate Modern, housed in what used to be the Battersea Power Station)

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The Millenium Bridge, London, June 2016

The Thames, Just Outside Oxford:

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Highly recommend this way of seeing Oxford, or any city, frankly, because rivers are life.

Partners 3: People

“. . .  give us subjects that are in tune with each other.”

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

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San Marco Square, Venice: November 2015

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San Francisco: October 2015

Joan McGavin, Jenny Lewis, and Jenny's Granddaughter Abigail in Oxford, UK: July 2015

Joan McGavin, Jenny Lewis, and Jenny’s Granddaughter Abigail in Oxford, UK: July 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Numbers 4: Exhibits, Museum of the History of Science (Oxford) and the British Museum

Self-explanatory!

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Oxford, England: May 2016

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Assyrian Gallery, British Museum, London: May 2016

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Another Caption from the Assyrian Gallery in the British Museum: May 2016

Spare 5: More From London and Oxford

Self is thinking of “spare” as in “simple.” Below, three more examples.

First picture: 6th floor, Tate Modern in Banksea.

The view. It’s all about the view.

The meat pie isn’t bad, either.

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The Tate Modern is housed in what used to be the Battersea Power Station. In keeping with its industrial spirit, everything in the Tate Modern has that utilitarian feel. Even the restaurant, on the 6th floor. It’s called The Kitchen.

2nd: A few days ago, self was in Oxford. Her host, Jenny Lewis, took self (and Abigail, whose 9th birthday is coming up! And Abigail’s dad, Tom) on a boat ride.

Oxford is 120 miles from London. She vaguely remembers the guide saying it took about three days to go by boat from there to Oxford (This was probably in the era of the Tudors)

Here’s the view at the start of the boat trip:

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Boating in Oxford: Sunday, 29 May 2016

Final picture: When self is in London, she stays in a very simple hotel. She loves to walk, and explore bookstores and museums. Though she never ends up straying very far from Great Russell Street.

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Those slash marks in self’s half-broke camera turned out to be a plus! Especially in taking pictures like this, that have a very “still” quality.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Spare 2: Still in Oxford

Pictures tell their own story.

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is SPARE.

Krista explains the thinking behind the prompt. She is writing about California’s Joshua Tree National Park:

Gazing into this distance, pleasantly spent from the exertion of the climb, I couldn’t help but feel at home in this spare landscape — despite the great differences in climate and altitude to where I live.

Self is still in Oxford. Spending Sunday with poet Jenny Lewis and her granddaughter Abigail and Abigail’s dad, Tom.

We went boating!

It was a lovely, overcast day on a tranquil river.

SO peaceful.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SPARE: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 27 May 2016

Spare landscapes are often quite beautiful in their minimalism (if you choose to look)

— Krista, The Daily Post

Below are a few pictures that struck me as evocative of this week’s theme, SPARE:

Self took a walking tour of Oxford, day before yesterday. The quadrangles in front of the main buildings are surprisingly spare: free of fountains and monuments. Pristine.

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The building used to house Oxford University Press.

The India House was of course a very important building, especially during the days of the British Empire. With true British understatement, there are no signs indicating the building’s historice function: only the elephant on the weathervane:

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Weathervane on top of India House, Oxford, UK

Finally, the Weston Library is a moden structure directly across the street from the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Oxford. The facade is spare, with one banner announcing the current exhibit (in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death): Shakespeare’s Dead:

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A banner announces the Weston Library’s current exhibit.

Hope these are suitable examples of SPARE.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sometimes You Just Gotta Have That Chocolate Milkshake

Have dear blog readers ever tasted a lukewarm chocolate milkshake?

(Self knows, right?)

It is a hot day in Oxford, UK. Everyone strolling around, including three tourists who are attracting attention for a (fake) loud quarrel — self is pretty clued-in now to what’s fake and what’s real. All you have to do, really, is look at the person’s face. The woman who is allegedly being wronged by her two male companions has a huge, shit-eating grin on her face. She has cropped, dyed-platinum-blonde hair. She has deep brown, leathery skin. She’s wearing blue jeans and a white tank top. This makes her stand out because most of the women self sees around Oxford are of two, maybe three types: young Asian women who are extremely thin, very stylish, and very low-key; young white women who wear sneakers, cigarette jeans, and muted sweaters; older white women who dress a bit eccentrically, in floppy hats, or voluminous, bright sweaters. The strange woman keeps screaming, at the top of her voice, ruining a pleasant afternoon: LEAVE ME ALONE! ASSHOLE!

Really, self hates the drama. This is on a tiny street, where everyone’s so quiet, they all jerk their heads up and look alarmed. If self were to be truly cynical about it, which she isn’t, she might hug her purse closer to her body, just in case there is a point to this loud altercation.

Demonstrative fake quarrel aside, today self got to:

  • see a couple of Shakespeare folios
  • see the Harry Potter dining room
  • see an annotated map of Tolkien’s Middle Earth
  • check out Blackwell’s Crime & Thriller section, where she jotted down the titles of a couple of mysteries she wants to add to her reading list.
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An Amazing, Almost-Summer Day in Oxford, UK

Really, if a lukewarm chocolate milkshake is the worst part of self’s day, she’s had a pretty good day.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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