Spider-Man: Homecoming

July 7, 2017

This was wonderful.

I’m having trouble figuring out what to say, because there’s so much I want to say, but I also don’t want to spoil a single thing because part of the joy of this is the ton of little easter eggs and jokes and just really nice moments through the whole thing. It’s clever, but doesn’t make a big deal about its own cleverness. It’s also really heartfelt. What is it like being a 15 year old kid with superpowers in the Marvel Universe? Here, this is what it’s like.  (In fact, the movie doesn’t stand alone. The plot’s deeply connected to what happens in Avengers and Civil War, and there are references to the whole MCU scattered around. But I have to say, at this point this is one of the things I love about the MCU:  they don’t spend any time trying to explain what happened before, they expect you to just know, and in the process have built up an entire world that doesn’t require any explanation, that acquires new layers with every outing.)

This is a superhero movie that’s also a nearly perfect teen comedy. That’s also an homage to teen comedies. But when the story of a teen comedy would go in one direction, this veers back into the superhero movie. So you think you know what’s going to happen, but then something else entirely happens.  We all stood outside the theater after asking each other, “Did you see THAT coming, at the start of the third act?”  “No I totally did not, did you?”  “Not even a little bit.”  We were all amazement.

And there’s the scene where Michelle is wearing a Sylvia Plath T-shirt.

Gah, I must stop now, before I start quoting lines. And stay all the way through the credits. Really really. I shouldn’t have to keep saying this…but just do it.

 

 

weekend!

May 26, 2017

It’s a holiday weekend here in the U.S. and I’m taking the time to recharge some. Been a hectic couple of weeks.  I hope you all get some good downtime this weekend as well and get to have some fun.

 

My Big Day #2

May 17, 2017

As I mentioned, last Saturday was eBird’s Global Big Day of birding, where birders all over the world head out to see how many species they can log in one day. This year’s stats: over 6500 species. That’s a lot of birds. My goal was to get over 50. Didn’t quite get there. I got just at 50, the same I did last year. Would have gotten more if I were better at IDing hawks in flight, but I’m not. Well, now I know what I need to practice at. But it is fun being part of a big project like this. I logged all my sightings.

Oddly enough, the rainy weather might have helped me last year. The best time for birding is the hour or so after dawn. Trouble is, I’m not a morning person. Last year, the gloomy weather fooled the birds into thinking dawn was later, so I got some really good sightings even with the late start. This year was bright, sunny, and beautiful, and I missed ’em. I’m going to have to figure out how to get started earlier.

Also, there were a ton more birders out, which led to situations like this:

Other, better birders: “Oh yeah, we’re seeing lots! Like *lists of ten species, half of which I’ve never seen before*.”

Me: “I saw a robin. It’s right there.”

So yeah. A little bit of a failure of confidence there. And then there were NO DUCKS on Barr Lake. Like, none. If I’d seen half the ducks I normally see at Barr and Walden, I’d have made 60 species, easy. Where the hell were the ducks?

Ah, birding.

So at Walden I thought about walking the upper ponds to try to find ducks, but I was so tired and lazy I just got out the spotting scope and parked it and stayed put for half an hour.

And that was when I got my one lifer for the day. A Wilson’s pharalope, which I would not have seen without the scope. (Also spotted with scope: American avocets and long-billed dowitcher.) Even better: if you’re good and steady, you can take pictures through a spotting scope. So I got out my little point-and-shoot digital, and I did. Not a great picture. But I did it. My last 3 birds of the day:

three waders

So, a nice end to a really long day. Next year, I’m considering only hitting one location, Walden Ponds, and really for real getting up at the crack of dawn this time, and just seeing how many birds I can spot in one place. No goal, just a good day. Yeah, that sounds good.

whew

January 23, 2017

I marched on Saturday. I’m really glad I did. I confess, I’m still processing. It’s still all kind of a blur, so I don’t have any good stories to tell, at least not yet. But I wanted to stand up and be counted, and I accomplished that.

The sign I carried said this:  “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.”

 

love

January 20, 2017

I’m planning on joining the Woman’s March on Denver tomorrow.  I will be thinking this:

Carrie Fisher is gone.

And yes, we’ve lost so many good and genius people this year.  But we have so many more to lose.  I don’t even want to whisper their names, in case I really might draw the wrong attention to them.  We don’t know how bad it can be, how bad it’s going to be.

Rather than focus on the loss, I’m trying to focus on how lucky we are to have had any of these people at all.  To have their work — which will be with us always — and their examples and and their inspirations.

Again, I’m reflecting on how odd it is to grieve for someone I never met.  It seems a bit presumptuous, especially next to how much her family, friends, and people she worked with must be hurting.  But Carrie Fisher has been a presence and an inspiration through my whole life.  And I’ll miss that.

Meanwhile, I’ll be celebrating her life by reading her books.

 

Happy Holidays

December 23, 2016

Behold, this year’s tree and all its bounty:

tree-2016

Have a safe and peaceful holiday season, everyone.