Friday, June 11, 2021

Plainfield Station

Late Friday afternoon, I met Snipes at the Plainfield Station for a couple of adult beverages. We spent a couple of hours catching up.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Neighborhood Book Club

Sharon is part of a neighbor book club that used to meet about every two months. After not meeting since last September, they met Thursday night at the community pool. They discussed The Nature of Fraglie Things by Susan Meissner.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

1988 Oscar Nominations

Best Picture
    The Last Emperor - winner
    Broadcast News
   ✔ Fatal Attraction
    Hope and Glory
    Moonstruck

Best Actor
   ✔ Michael Douglas – Wall Street as Gordon Gekko - winner
    William Hurt – Broadcast News as Tom Grunick
    Marcello Mastroianni – Dark Eyes as Romano
    Jack Nicholson – Ironweed as Francis Phelan
    Robin Williams – Good Morning, Vietnam as Adrian Cronauer

Best Actress
    Cher – Moonstruck as Loretta Castorini - winner
   ✔ Glenn Close – Fatal Attraction as Alex Forrest
    Holly Hunter – Broadcast News as Jane Craig
    Sally Kirkland – Anna as Anna
    Meryl Streep – Ironweed as Helen Archer

Best Supporting Actor
    Sean Connery – The Untouchables as Jim Malone - winner
    Albert Brooks – Broadcast News as Aaron Altman
    Morgan Freeman – Street Smart as Leo "Fast Black" Smalls Jr.
    Vincent Gardenia – Moonstruck as Cosmo Castorini
    Denzel Washington – Cry Freedom as Steve Biko

Best Supporting Actress
    Olympia Dukakis – Moonstruck as Rose Castorini - winner
    Norma Aleandro – Gaby: A True Story as Florencia S├ínchez Morales
   ✔ Anne Archer – Fatal Attraction as Beth Gallagher
    Anne Ramsey – Throw Momma from the Train as Mrs. Lift
    Ann Sothern – The Whales of August as Tisha Doughty

Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
    Moonstruck
    Au revoir les enfants
    Broadcast News
    Hope and Glory
    Radio Days

Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
    The Last Emperor - winner
    The Dead
   ✔ Fatal Attraction
    Full Metal Jacket
    My Life as a Dog


The 2021 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2020 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2019 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2018 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2017 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2016 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2015 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2014 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2013 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1988 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1975 Oscar nominations are here.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Wall Street

Continuing down a rabbit hole, Sharon and I watched Wall Street on the Saturday night of Memorial Day Weekend. After she read Sharon Stone's biography, we watched Basic Instinct and Total Recall. Listening to The Ringer's Rewatchable podcast about Basic Instinct, they talked about Micheal Douglas in Fatal Attraction and Wall Street. We decided to watch both of those films.

Wall Street is a 1987 American drama film directed and co-written by Oliver Stone. It stars Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah and Martin Sheen. The film tells the story of Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), a young stockbroker who becomes involved with Gordon Gekko (Douglas), a wealthy, unscrupulous corporate raider.

Michael Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Daryl Hannah's performance was not as well received and earned her a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress.

I am a little surprised that Douglas won an Academy Award for his role. While Charlie Sheen is in almost every scene, Douglas' role is much smaller. Having watched Charlie Sheen in Two And A Half Men for years, it was a litte disarming to see a much younger actor in this role. Overall, I enjoyed the film. It is definitely rewatchable.

Monday, June 07, 2021

Friends: The Reunion


Thursday night before Memorial Day, Sharon and I watched Friends: The Reunion on HBOmax on the AppleTV. It was ok, but not great.

The cast and producers had some interesting comments near the end. They noted that there was no interest in making any new episodes. The series creators noted that they were happy with where they left the characters at end of the show. They were not interested in reopening the storylines.

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Catan

For the second Sunday afternoon in a row, Jack, Drew and I played Catan. Both days, Drew and Jack each won one game. In the Facetime picture from May 30, you can see Lee sitting on my lap in the bottom right corner. He sat on my lap and watched almost the whole time we played.

Sunday, May 30
Sunday, June 6

Saturday, June 05, 2021

My Octopus Teacher

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched My Octopus Teacher. At the 93rd Academy Awards, it won the award for Best Documentary Feature.

The film is a 2020 Netflix Original documentary directed by Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed. It documents a year spent by filmmaker Craig Foster forging a relationship with a wild common octopus in a South African kelp forest.

Although I am not quite sure I understand how they got all of the footage, this is very good. I recommend it.

Friday, June 04, 2021

Dinner with Gainsleys and Larkins

Friday night, Sharon and I got together with the Larkins and the Gainsleys. They stopped at house before we went out to dinner. The goal was to pick a date for the fall dinner party and brainstorm a potential Viking Egyptian cruise in 2023.

After appetizers and cocktails, the six of us headed to Old Fair Oaks for dinner at Shangri-La. Sharon and I split an order of deviled eggs. For entrees, Sharon had a burger, while I had the fish tacos.

I was a nice evening. I always enjoy their company.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Brooksby, 20, heads to Paris, 2 years after a US Open splash

Our neighbor's son qualified for the French Open and lost in the Round of 128.

Like many a 20-year-old American in Paris for the first time, tennis pro Jenson Brooksby is excited about where he is and eager to see where he's headed.

Brooksby, who's from Sacramento, California, has been tearing up the lower-level ATP Challenger Tour — 19-2 record; youngest U.S. player to accumulate three titles in one season on that circuit in 15 years; ranking rose from 315th in February to 163rd on Monday — and now he's looking for more.

Not just this week, when he's scheduled to face 20-year-old German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, who is seeded 20th, at Roland Garros in French Open qualifying Tuesday, but in the years to come. Asked where he sees himself a decade from now, Brooksby did not hesitate a bit.

“I mean, by then, I want to be No. 1 in the world. I believe I can do it. It’s a long road. It takes a lot of, obviously, a lot of hard work, a lot of discipline getting better. But I believe I’m very motivated enough to do that,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press conducted via Zoom. “And by then, even five, 10 years, or before — I mean, I don’t want put limits on it, my goals — I definitely want to be the best player in the world.”

This is what competitiveness and confidence sound like. It's also evidence that having had a taste, albeit a brief one, of the uppermost echelon of a sport can do for someone who is trying to make it big one day.

Qualifying for the French Open began Monday; play in the main draw starts next Sunday. Players whose rankings weren’t high enough to get direct entry into the Grand Slam bracket can earn their way in through the three rounds of qualifying — essentially a tournament before the tournament.

Every so often, someone who does work his or her way into the main event uses that momentum as a springboard for serious success.

At the 2020 French Open, for example, 20-year-old American Sebastian Korda went from qualifying to the fourth round before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal; 23-year-old Argentine Nadia Podoroska took that route all the way to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Iga Swiatek. At this year's Australian Open, 27-year-old Russian Aslan Karatsev qualified and got to the semifinals before losing to — yes, that's right — eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

Brooksby — known as “JT” to those closest to him, because his middle name is Taylor — played in only one Grand Slam tournament as a junior, the 2018 U.S. Open.

But he stood in the spotlight at age 18 in New York the following year: Brooksby won three matches in qualifying to book a spot in the main draw, then beat 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych.

There was a swirl of attention around Brooksby and conversation about whether he would, or should, opt out of playing college tennis at Baylor and declare himself a professional so he could accept the prize money at Flushing Meadows.

“The whole world told him to go pro,” Brooksby's advisor, Amrit Narasimhan, said in a telephone inteview, “whereas I was like, ‘Buddy, you’re not ready to play pro tennis.'”

Brooskby acknowledges as much, saying, “I felt my game was ready, but not other areas. Not physically, not mentally. ... Now I’m ready.”

So he chose Baylor — but then never actually played a college match, sidelined by a toe injury. In the meantime, he's grown to 6-foot-4 and improved his strength and fitness.

The best part of his tennis game?

“The strength," Brooksby said, "is no weaknesses.”

He's been with the same coach since age 7, Joe Gilbert, who joked that Brooksby is “not growing a beard anytime soon” and offered a similar assessment to Narasimhan's about their player's on-court demeanor.

“He can’t stand losing. And he’s a very fiery competitor," said Gilbert, who met Brooksby after giving his parents tennis lessons. "So he battles himself. Sometimes battles his opponent. He battles everything out there, because he is a bit emotional. But he loves it.”

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Fatal Attraction

Sharon and I have been going down a movie rabbit hole. After she read Sharon Stone's biography, we watched Basic Instinct and Total Recall. Listening to The Ringer's Rewatchable podcast about Basic Instinct, they talked about Micheal Douglas in Fatal Attraction. We watched the movie on the Friday night of Memorial Day Weekend.

The movie is a 1987 erotic psychological thriller film directed by Adrian Lyne from a screenplay written by James Dearden. It is based on Dearden's 1980 short film Diversion. At the 60th Academy Awards, Fatal Attraction received six nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Close), Best Supporting Actress (Archer), Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, and Best Film Editing.

Fatal Attraction stars Michael Douglas, Glenn Close and Anne Archer. The film centers on a married man who has a weekend affair with a woman who refuses to allow it to end and becomes obsessed with him.

Although we liked Basic Instinct more, Fatal Attraction movie holds up better than Total Recall. I enjoyed it. It is definitely rewatchable.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Back into the Office for a Meeting [Work from Home - Day 450]

Almost exactly a year ago, I started going back into the office part-time. I was part of a small group envisioned as Wave 1 to repopulate our building. It was very lonely in the big empty building. The repopulation strategy was quickly reversed as the pandemic grew.

I went back into the building today for a meeting to work on our 2030 IT Strategy Playbook. It has probably been more than eleven months since I have been into the building and into my office.

We are talking about trying to open the building back up in September. I will probably start going in more often for face to face meetings.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Lee's First Overnight - Day 2 plus Memorial Day Barbecue


Lee went down to sleep after 7 pm on Sunday night and slept all the way through to 630 am. He woke up a happy little guy.

We fed him breakfast. Morgan scooped him up just before 9 am.

Sharon and I finished the day at her brother Tom's house. We barbecued burgers for dinner. With the temperature at 102, we swam and lounged in the pool.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Lee's First Overnight - Day 1

Sharon and I kept Lee overnight so that Daniel and Morgan could have a date day/night. It was the first time that Lee had spent a night away from Morgan. They dropped Lee off just before 9 am. It was a very easy day, including:
  • we took Lee grocery shopping in the morning;
  • while Lee took his nap in the afternoon, I ran almost 7 miles around Ancil Hoffman park in the 80 degree heat;
  • we took Lee to the community pool for a dip;
  • Lee sat on my lap while I played Catan with Drew and Jack; and,
  • after Lee went to bed, Sharon and I watched Wall Street.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Dinner with Jim and Debi

After spending most of the day getting the house and deck in shape, we had our neighbors Jim and Debi over for dinner on Saturday night. Sharon envisions a series of dinner with couples in our neighborhood over the next few months.

We served negronis as a before-dinner cocktail using the recipe with foam from the 2019 fall dinner party. Sharon made a great dinner of chicken cordon bleu, rice and green beans. For dessert, she made individual baked alaskas.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Lee and Amelia

Sharon babysat Lee while Morgan went to the DMV. Sharon and Lee visited with Tom and Amelia.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Shangri-La

With a four day weekend looming, Sharon and I finished the short hectic work week with dinner at Shangri-la in old Fair Oaks. We had a nice table in the shade outside.

We started with cocktail; Sharon had an AVIATION [gin, maraschino liquor, creme de violette, lemon], while I had a SOUTHSIDE [vodka, mojito tea syrup, aromatic bitters, lime]. For snacks, we split Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Deviled Eggs. For entrees, we split a CAESAR SALAD [little gem lettuces, anchovy dressing, parmesan, crouton] and a BURGER [aged white cheddar, pickled onion, tomato, gem lettuce, shang sauce, local bun, hand cut fries].

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Lockkeeper's House, C & O Extension

We passed this building multiple times during our trip to DC in April.

Lockkeeper's House
C & O Extension

National Register of Historic Places #1973000218

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This church is located at southwest corner of 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 53' 31.1" N 77° 02' 23.3" W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Lockkeeper's House
The Lockkeeper's House is the only remnant of the C & O Canal Extension. The building was constructed as the house for the Lockkeeper of the Canal, who collected the tolls and kept records of commerce on the canal. The C & O Extension was built between 1832 and 1833 to connect the Washington City Canal with the C & O Canal. The Washington City Canal was first proposed by Pierre L'Enfant in his 1791 plan for the Capital and was opened in 1815. It served as the major thoroughfare until railroads became the dominant form of transportation in the 19th century. Furthermore, the local, Washington City Canal, was beset by problems of poor maintenance.

After the Civil War there were numerous proposals to revitalize the Washington City Canal, but in the 1870s the long process of filling the canal began. During the development of Potomac Park in the early 1900's, the Lockkeeper's House was given to the United States and functioned for a while as the Park Police headquarters. By 1940 Federal Office buildings began to appear along Constitution Avenue near the Lockkeeper's House. That year, the first floor of the building was converted to use as a public comfort station. Presently the building is used for park maintenance storage.

Lockkeeper's House Untitled

Sunday, May 23, 2021

2021 PGA Championship

Staying close to home after a busy month and a half, Sharon and I focused on the house and watched large parts of the 2021 PGA Championship. Playing Brooks Koepka on Sunday, Phil Mickelson become the oldest major champion in golf history.

We have been a big fan of Phil Mickelson ever since we crossed paths with him at the 2004 Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

I can't imagine playing the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island. From the championship tees, the course stretches to 7,876 yards. It was named the toughest course in America in 2010 by Golf Digest.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Total Recall

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched Total Recall. Two weeks ago, we watched Sharon Stone is Basic Instinct. Listening to the Bill Simmons podcast with Sharon Stone, she talked about training for her role in Total Recall.

The movie is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone.

The film is loosely based on the 1966 Philip K. Dick short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". With a budget of $50–60 million, Total Recall was one of the most expensive films made at the time of its release.

The film tells the story of a construction worker [Schwarzenegger] who suddenly finds himself embroiled in espionage on Mars. He is unable to determine if the experiences are real or the result of memory implants.

This is a good example of a science fiction film that didn't age well. The vehicles, furniture, CRT screens and video phones all look very dated rather than futuristic. While I enjoyed Basic Instinct, I didn't find this film rewatchable!