October 21st, 2006

little review

Poem for Saturday

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apaulled and I both had to get work done this morning ("Wink of an Eye"), but he took the afternoon off and we met his parents for a picnic at Gambrill State Park, the first of our annual trip to several South Mountain-area parks where the leaves change spectacularly right around now. In Frederick County, there seems to be a magic altitude where most of the leaves turn yellow rather than brown -- this is true on Catoctin and at Cunningham Falls as well -- and at this point in October there is a fabulous assortment of yellow, gold and green with some red maple and even redder ivy mixed in. It was surprisingly cold and windy up near the summits; we had dressed for the mid-60s and sunny we had at home, and spent most of lunch shivering because we hadn't brought warmer jackets. But once we started hiking, we warmed up.

We generally start at Gambrill on High Knob, near the top of the mountain with a view of Frederick to one side and Middletown to the other with South Mountain in the distance, because it has a large picnic area, a trail along the summit and a tea house which regrettably is almost always booked for some event. From there we go to Washington Monument State Park, on the border of Frederick and Washington Counties with views of Boonsboro and Frederick and spectacular skylines and bird-watching. And then we go to Gathland, the ruins of the home of the Civil War correspondent George Alfred Townsend a.k.a. Gath, where he built an arch to honor Civil War correspondents just off Crampton's Gap where Union and Confederate forces clashed days before the Battle of Antietam. The crest of the mountain was also a major Underground Railroad route towards Pennsylvania, and it's very near the Ceres-Bethel AME Church and cemetery, built in 1870 by freed slaves. There are photos from previous years tagged here -- the leaves and light are never exactly the same.


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We came back to have dinner with my parents, then watched Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica and were disappointed to discover that Sci-Fi will apparently be showing Threshold from now on in marathons on Mondays...I thought it was going to be a Friday night regular thing! We will see if I stick with Galactica now that it's not the hour between two shows I want to watch. It is still hard for me to resist Lucy Lawless and Mary McDonnell, but I really loathe the Starbuck storyline (the aspects of it that appear to be resolved for the moment have not made me in any way forgive the way it was written) and although I liked Jamie Bamber in the Hornblower movies, I haven't warmed up to his Apollo. I have no such problems with Tennant's Doctor, however; if we had to lose Eccleston I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have had take over the role. Though I maintain that it is really Rose who makes the show for me. Collapse )

There appears to be no new thefridayfive or fannish5.
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Son has a soccer game smack in the middle of the afternoon Saturday. The bad news is, this means we can't go on any long trips, but the good news is, hopefully we can go see The Prestige.
little review

Long Incoherent Blather on 'The Prestige'

I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a movie that much, nor spent so much time thinking about it afterward, trying to decide whether it had plot holes (which don't particularly detract from the enjoyment even if they are holes) or mysteries I haven't figured out yet. The Prestige does not feel like a two-plus hour film; I saw it with my kids, who get very squirmy if their interest is not being held, and they were completely riveted. It's like an anti-Peter Jackson movie, particularly since the showiest effects are not at all what makes it engrossing. I would also be hard-pressed to say who gives a better performance, Jackman or Bale. Caine, Johansson, Hall, Bowie and all the others are equally superb. And while I don't usually mind being spoiled -- in fact I often go out of my way to be spoiled, so I have some sense whether the payoff of a movie is going to make me glad I spent my money or whether I will walk out with steam coming out of my ears a la Thelma and Louise -- in this case I am very glad that I knew nothing about the ultimate direction of the plot. Collapse )