Monday, September 26, 2016

Movies & Moving Around

Friday September 23, 2016
Tonight my nephew Carter accompanied me to an evening showing of “Storks” at the Movie Tavern.  Who can resist a cooing baby with a big head and ginger hair? Apparently not the wolves who kidnapped her and fought her delivery team (a stork and a human who was raised by storks) to regain custody.

I particularly enjoyed the scenes with the little boy who wrote to the storks asking for a little brother with ‘Ninja abilities.’ The boy was a little lonely because his two parents (both real estate agents) were always too busy working to play with him. “Cat in the Cradle” anyone?

I also like the scene where Violet (the human raised by storks) braids her stork companion’s feathers in an effort to bond with him like “girlfriends having a sleep-over” while they took care of the baby overnight.

All in all a really cute film and I think my nephew liked it too. We’re both super excited about seeing the Lego Batman movie when it comes out in February. I am hoping my husband and other nephew will join us (since they accompanied us to see the first Lego movie).

Saturday September 24, 2016
Tonight Andrew and I attended a screening of shorts as part of the 49th annual Manhattan Shorts Film Festival. This is something we’ve gone to most years since we moved here. At times they were shown at the Grandview Theatre while it was under its previous management, but now they’re back at the Gateway permanently.

There are always ten finalists and are sometimes a mix of animation/stop motion and regular live action films. I was grateful for no disturbing or violent movies in the mix. I agree it’s good to raise social conscience and awareness, but sometimes it’s just too much to take. This year’s finalists were a little less in-your-face with their messages, which I very much appreciated.

 As per usual, Andrew and I voted for different films. I selected “The Tunnel” (a futuristic movie where thousands of families in self-driving cars are returning to the city at the end of the weekend not knowing who will make it home as some of the cars and its passengers are indiscriminately chosen for population thinning) while Andrew chose “Bravo Man” (a Russian man and his high school crush  are both hired to “work the audience” for a little theatre company; he stands up and claps saying “Bravo!” “Bravo!” near the end of the shows while she cries a little and dabs at her eyes).

We both agreed on Charlie Chan Dagelet for best actor. She stars in “Hold On” as the first cellist in a German symphony who develops stage fright after her string breaks during an important concert. I knew it was tough being a professional musician, but I had no idea. I feel for them, and will always make sure to clap extra loud in the future whenever I attend a concert.

Sunday September 25, 2016
Today Andrew and I ran a 5k in support of the Kyle Miller scholarship fund which goes to aid a junior or senior at Otterbein University (in Westerville) “with Kyle's passion for wildlife and conservation in the Zoo and Conservation Science program.” I first read about it last year in the Hilliard Northwest News and thought it was a good cause, as well as a good opportunity to run another 5k close to home (it was held at the Hilliard Recreation Center).
an owl brought out by a volunteer from the Ohio Wildlife Center (in Powell)
It was a beautiful cool, sunny morning (temperatures in the high 60s perhaps); perfect running weather. There was a pretty good turnout as I’d estimate there were several hundred people there from friends and family to fellow Otterbein students.

Before the race started we looked over all the gift baskets that were ours to win depending on which jar we chose to put our free raffle ticket in. Neither of us was bothered to purchase any extra tickets choosing to place all our hopes on just our two. I had a difficult time choosing between two handmade owl pillows, both of which came with a bag from Thirty-One Gifts.  I think Andrew chose the gift basket with restaurant gift cards.

Probably the most unusual item on the table was a $100 gift card for a model train store, of which only one attendee put her ticket in, and of course, won by default. Andrew debated choosing that one knowing that it was unlikely many people would select that one, but didn’t want to deny someone who really wanted model trains. We also put in a bid on a gift package (which included a $100 gift card) from Pet Palace, but lost it to someone else who outbid us at the last minute. Thus, it was that we went home empty handed (not me though, I grabbed a couple vegan granola bars as my consolation prize : )

We both completed the race with no problem, splitting up at the halfway point. Andrew finished in about 32 minutes while I arrived about five minutes later with a time of 37:37. We were both sixth in our age group and definitely outnumbered by a much younger crowd. My goal is to shave a couple minutes off my time by perhaps starting to sprint a little sooner when I see the finish line. At least now I know I can complete a 5K and hope to do my next one in the spring when they hold the annual Time Warner Road Runner race in our very own neighborhood. At least there will be no commute involved!

Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Saturday/Sunday September 17-18, 2016
It was a busy arts filled weekend as I attended both an arts & crafts fair as well as a gallery reception and an old fashioned rock 'n roll show.
After years of meaning to attend one of the quarterly Avante Garde arts shows at St. Agathe's in Upper Arlington, I finally made it to one. I especially wanted to attend the September show since the $3 admission price was earmarked to benefit one of my favorite local charities, Pets Without Parents, whom I have supported in the past.
Having attending the Columbus Arts Festival and the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival, I have become spoiled by being exposed to so many fine artists. It's not really fair to compare the Avante Garde show to either one of the above because it's simply so much smaller in scale, and is a charity event.
Depending on what you were into, you could find some nice things. Honestly though, at most booths I could take it or leave it. At the food booths I would have loved to have bought it all, but wishing to still lose a couple pounds this fall, I gave most of it a miss. However, I did purchase some tasty biscottis with my last $4 from one of the booths, and had a nice chat with the lady who made them.
I was especially impressed with the jewelry from Pat McCabe's line called EnWraptured by Nature. I had a really hard time choosing just one necklace from all her beautiful seaside jewelry (many of the shells came from Maui she told me). If shells, sea glass and other beach debris are your thing, you won't be disappointed by the quality of her pendants.
The practical side of me was drawn to the spray painted notebooks created by Spray Art by Rick (not sure of his surname) and his eighteen year old daughter. I bought two. I defy you to choose which one was done by the professional since they're both so skillfully painted.
On my way out I spied a booth selling wind chimes (Olde Tyme Chymes), many of which were constructed out of small colanders. Having made planters out of two slightly larger colanders this summer, I knew the wind chimes would match them perfectly. I ended up selecting one of the sort of aqua green colander sets. However, because I was already weighed down with two bags and already thinking about an errand I wanted to run on the way home, I managed to walk out without my purchase. It is to Mr. Schoedel's credit that he was willing to personally hand deliver my wind chimes to me on Sunday after I contacted him Saturday night once I realized my oversight. Not sure my husband is too crazy about the wind chimes, but I'm glad I wasn't out $30 (though Mr. Schoedel said he immediately refunded me after he couldn't find me on Sat).
After lunch I attended the Artful Books gallery reception. I think I've been spoiled by Pinterest, because I had really expected to be more impressed by what I saw, and perhaps hoped for more pieces overall. Not wishing to offend any of the artists, I did like what I saw, but wasn't really wowed or inspired by too many of the pieces. To the artists credit, most of what I saw was highly original not having seen anything similar on Pinterest or in a book.
I was glad to run into my friend, Ayn and meet Brooke Hunter-Lombardi who will be teaching the Artful Books class on Saturday Oct. 1st.
Sunday night my husband and I attended the free "British Invasion" concert held on the little island they call the pavilion ampitheatre over at Mill Run. We've seen British Invasion perform there many times over the years and always enjoy them. Plus, it was free, so can't beat that! We lucked out in that we got to hear the entire set (in spite of arriving late) because they were still drying off their equipment after a pop-up shower that had occurred shortly before we left. The band called it a night at around 7pm (which was supposed to be their finish time anyway) due to another storm that was supposed to pass through. It was good timing for us since we had to go home and get dinner out of the oven anyway.
All in all a pretty good weekend.
Have a great week everyone!                               

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day weekend

Sunday August 28, 2016
Today we caught the last matinee of “Florence Foster Jenkins” which is a really endearing movie and based on a true story. Besides the fact that I love period films (this one is set during WWII), and movies that have NYC as a back drop (as this one does), I love the cast – Hugh Grant (greying around the temples, but still no less talented), Meryl Streep (very much a departure from scary, Miranda in “The Devil Wears Prada,”) and Simon Helberg (proving he can be more than just Howard from “Big Bang Theory”).

According to IMDB: “Florence Foster Jenkins, an heiress form NYC always wanted to be a concert pianist and play Carnegie Hall. An injury in her youth deterred that dream. So she sets out to sing her way to Carnegie Hall knowing the only way to get there would be "Practice Practice Practice." Her husband supports her venture and the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins playing Carnegie Hall becomes a historic event in history” Written by stephen scialli

I couldn’t help but notice that, once again, we were probably the youngest in attendance, but I wouldn’t classify this as strictly “senior” entertainment or only for “opera lovers.” Either way, I can’t recommend this movie enough (though I think I’ll skip buying the soundtrack).

Friday September 2, 2016
It’s documentary week at OSU and there’s a whole slew of interesting films on the schedule. Unfortunately, most don’t fit our schedule, so we just selected one that we were both interested in and that fit our schedule (thanks to being allowed to leave work an hour early due to it being a holiday weekend).

The film we saw was “Don’t Blink,” a sort of retrospective on the life of twentieth century photographer, Robert Frank. As per usual with these sorts of films, and also being a nice summer day outside and a holiday weekend, we shared the theatre with perhaps only half a dozen other people (in which case it probably could have been shown in their micro theatre which only seats just over a dozen people).

According to Wikipedia, “Robert Frank (born November 9, 1924) is an American photographer and documentary filmmaker. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider's view of American society. Critic Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2014, said The Americans "changed the nature of photography, what it could say and how it could say it. [ . . . ] it remains perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century."[1] Frank later expanded into film and video and experimented with manipulating photographs and photomontage.”

I found the movie to be very interesting and inspiring. In fact, when I saw Mr. Frank take a Polaroid photo using a mirror, I made a mental note to copy that idea and took that photo later in the weekend. I haven’t yet seen the book, The Americans, but will definitely check it out.

Saturday September 3, 2016
Today we finally used the Groupon I bought for Andrew for his birthday, which was a 2 for 1 special on a Columbus Landmarks walking tour. The tours are supposed to last about an hour and a half and take you around to at least a dozen or so places all in about a quarter mile radius, so it’s not a lot of walking. Our tour guide exceeded expectations and gave us a full two hours, so we definitely got our money’s worth.

Among the buildings we visited (mostly just from the outside) were:

1)     Huntington National Bank:  It’s a family run business and is the 33rd largest bank in the country; the ornate entrance was designed by the stained glass division of Tiffany’s.
2)     Wyandotte Building:  According to Columbus Dispatch reporter, Mark Williams, “The 11-story Wyandotte Building at 21 W. Broad St. is known as an example of Chicago School architecture and was designed by Daniel Burnham. The building’s vertical rows of bay windows, one of Burnham’s trademarks, were meant to provide light, ventilation and extra floor space in crowded city blocks.”
3)     Leveque/Lincoln Tower:  It’s a really nice example of art deco architecture, especially inside, second only to the Chrysler Building in my humble opinion. I only wish we could have seen more than just the lobby.

4)     City Hall:  pretty impressive, and one of the buildings Andrew commented on afterwards, especially as it was unfamiliar to both of us.
5)     Supreme Court:  I was last inside when I had jury duty a few summers ago and was lucky enough to get a tour. Perhaps Andrew and I will take the day off work some time and do that together. This time I got to see the mosaic tile murals on the ceiling of the east side of the building, which I don’t recall seeing last time, so that was nice.

6)     The F & R Lazarus & Co. building:  This used to be a department store chain in Columbus and only closed within the last 10 years or so. Andrew and I have only been inside once (when it was still a department store) with Karen and Ashley when she was a baby. Apparently Mr. Lazarus was the first to use an elevator in his department store and have a cafeteria and even a little zoo to entertain the children. He also brought the concept of off-the-rack clothing to Columbus (Earlier you either made your clothes yourself or had them tailored). Residents of Columbus remember this department store as fondly as those of us from Cleveland remember Higbee’s, Hailey Bros, May Company or Sterling Lindner Davis.
7)     The Beggs Building:  According to Columbus Dispatch reporter, Gerald Tebben, “The Beggs Building, then just 12 stories tall, opened on Oct. 18, 1928.
The state-of-the-art office building at 21 E. State St. was named for David Beggs Sr., the founder of Beggs Realty Co., which owned, built and managed it. The building replaced a four-story brick building that predated the Civil War…..
Each office in the Beggs Building had large windows to admit light and air, and floors that could be subdivided with partitions. Elevators were touted as “high-speed” and ‘self-leveling.’”
8)     The Statehouse:  I think the last time I was inside was probably the same day we visited Lazarus with Karen when Ashley was a baby (2001 or 2002?) Unfortunately I missed out on a Statehouse tour a couple years ago because I was called to be on a jury that day, but it’s all good since we got to go inside for this tour. For not having a proper dome, it’s pretty impressive inside.  The ceiling of the cupola is quite beautiful. Apparently President Lincoln had visited on three separate occasions, both before being elected and during his term (and then later after he was assassinated while his body was on tour for viewing).
9)     The Holocaust & Liberators Memorial & the official state bee hives (with lots of little worker bees inside, just like their human counterparts working nearby):  both are somewhat newish      (2014/2015) items to downtown by the request of Governor Kasich, and neither of which we had seen previously, so it was our first time viewing them.

10)  The Ohio Theatre:  Though we didn’t get to go inside today (I think they were getting ready for an afternoon performance of “Wicked”), luckily Andrew and I had already been on a tour and many, many, many visits since then. Unlike the Palace Theatre built to host vaudeville shows, or the Southern Theatre, host to opera and theatrical performances, the Ohio Theatre has always been strictly a movie palace (though today other forms of entertainment utilize the premises).

All in all a pretty good tour, and I think it’s one birthday present Andrew very much enjoyed.

Monday September 5, 2016
Today Andrew and I attended the 50th annual Upper Arlington Arts Festival, which we had only been to on one other occasion. We tend to skip it because it’s usually ungodly hot (same this year)

and we don’t tend to buy much in the way of arts and crafts. This year we blew most of our budget at the Columbus Arts Festival back in June, so today I only spent about $30 and bought three items (two Scrabble tile pendants and a tiny birdhouse). Had I been alone I might have bought more as I saw a couple purses I liked and the handmade journals at Re Imagined by Luna were simply divine (though quite expensive)

Among the less practical, but still cute nonetheless, was the booth of robots constructed out of antique cameras, band-aid and spice tins, and other common household items. If your budget didn’t stretch to the $85+ the artist was charging for the bots, you could purchase a print for as little as $10 I think, which included some of the bots. I looked through them, but couldn’t make up my mind, so I walked away empty handed.

We recognized some of the artists from the Columbus Arts Festival, like Robert Coomer who prints photos on rusted steel. Visited the booth of Vivian Ripley, artist and teacher who is an instructor at the Upper Arlington Senior Center, and whose classes I’ve attended on at least two occasions.

After a couple hours we had pretty much seen it all, and the lines were too long at most of the food booths, so we grabbed some fast food for lunch on the way home.

That’s our weekend in summary. Have a good week everyone!