Friday, May 26, 2006

Seattle...first installment

Seattle is situated in a wild and wooly topography for a city and environs to grow. Sharp rocks, ridges, forest primeval, more hills and even more forests and rocks. Houses perched wherever a square foot of land allows building, and high density dwellings going up all over. Traffic flows more slowly here than, say in North Carolina or New York, where the average interstate flow seems to streak by at about 80 mph. I'd say it averaged about 55 in Seattle, sometimes slower. Although the traffic is slower, it is more congested than some places, and the lanes seem more narrow? Is this possible? Raised medians between some lanes abound, and any route to "somewhere" is convoluted.The foliage is wonderful, with camellias and other flowering semi-tropical plants in abundance. The forests are different than the Norteastern forests, yet quite similar in feel. Two rain forests differentiated by climate. Huge cedar trees and giant old deciduous trees share space with undergrowth of newer pine, spruce and assorted shrubs. Seattle and suburban settlers value their trees, and many a house is engulfed in trees far nearer the foundations than we in New England like our trees to be!Water abounds. I wasn't aware of the size of Lake Washington, which borders the city of Seattle on the East, and which separates Seattle proper from several surrounding communities which are contiguous with Seattle as far as population intensity, and economy. The Lake is a beautiful fresh water lake with parks around its sides, as well as private dwellings of the well to do. The Seattle area has parks aplenty. Nice times for the kids. The community of Kirkland boasts several nice parks, and plenty of Lake Washington views. Just a drive through the arty downtown area on a nice day is like a mini-vacation to the Lake.Next time thoughts on an afternoon trip to downtown Seattle.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

"The Da Vinci Code"...

The movie is out! And I saw it! Since the book was not that well written, I had hopes that Tom Hanks and Ron Howard would somehow transcend the material and give us a great movie! They did it! The screenplay was tighter, the performances were excellent, the casting spot on, and the music gave a quality that mirrored the ambiance of the book. All in all a fine production. I give it ****. Jean Reno did his usual fine job, Alfred Molina was cast superbly and the rest of the actors likewise. Of course Tom Hanks is his usual BEST, and it is Tom Hanks that pushes this film over the top and captures our imagination. Hanks is REAL. Whomever he plays, he brings character and depth to the role.

As far as this film being in any way threatening to faith or Catholicism, I think you would have to be paranoid or gullible to feel that this work of fiction is in any way worth angsting about. Forget it and have a good times at the movies...movies, baseball and hot dogs - that's what it's all about!