Monday, January 30, 2012


Hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Mine was pretty good!  On Friday night Amy and I watched Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a 2010 Werner Herzog documentary about the 30,000 year old cave paintings that were discovered in 1994 in the Chauvet Cave in Southern France.  I remember reading magazine reports about the caves years ago, shortly after they were discovered, but I had never learned much about them.  Herzog has some pretty great footage of the paintings in his documentary, and he does a decent job of touching upon the science behind the study of the cave while keeping his focus on the sense of wonder and awe that its paintings inspire (these are really old paintings-  way, way older than the pyramids in Egypt- and they look like they could have been drawn yesterday).  Also on Friday, Amy made some really good pasta with wine sauce.  It made me sort of sleepy while we were watching the movie.
On Saturday we went to Red Bud to take Cassidy for a hop.  It was a really nice morning.  Cassidy got some exercise, and we chatted with some friendly dog owners while watching the parade of canine happiness.  On Saturday we also went to the mall for a while and went out to dinner.  We tried to go to Mandola's, but the line was almost out the door, so we went to Brick Oven.  I'm here to say that Brick Oven was a really nice alternative.  We had a nice dinner.
Afterward we went home and watched Hanna, a movie that came out last year about a teenage girl who's a trained assassin/ninjakiller.  I'd heard a lot of buzz about this movie even before it was released, and I was excited to see it, but after watching it I thought that it was, at best, just maybe a solid medium.  Sort of a shame because it had some elements that seemed promising.  Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett are in it, it had a few interesting plot elements, and it contained some interesting cinematography and direction.  In the end, though, it felt like that the movie thought itself a lot more hip, cool, and original than it actually was.  The soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers often seemed jarring and out of place, the director seemed to try a little too hard to make the locations exotic and strange (the dilapidated amusement park being a prime example), and the plot seemed riddled with internal inconsistencies and stereotypes (our protagonist, trained and raised in remote wilderness, is confounded by the sight of a floursecent lightbulb, yet she manages to travel, undetected, from Morocco to Berlin).  On top of all that, Hanna, herself, just wasn't a very interesting character.  There are some supporting characters in the movie who seem worth getting to know, but Hanna wasn't all that compelling a character when it came down to personality.
Annnyway, that was Hanna.  The movie wasn't terrible, but I had high hopes/expectations, and they weren't quite met.

typical Austin street party
Sunday I went to church with Amy and my folks, and afterward we went to the Year of the Dragon Celebration at Chinatown Center.  Chinatown Center is basically a fairly large, outdoor shopping center up on North Lamar, and yesterday they had a Chinese New Year celebration complete with dragon dancers, Chinese drummers, people in costumes, rock climbing walls, mechanical bullriding (this is still Texas, after all), acupuncture booths, and enough firecrackers to keep your ears ringing until 2013.  The place was crowded and sort of chaotic, but we managed to grab lunch at a Vietnamese noodle house before heading out.  I had a really good time.
Dad watches with interest as a small
child is devoured by a dragon
the dragons try to get near Amy for good luck

After the New Year's celebration we went to the store.  After that I had Mono Ensemble practice, and after that Amy and I ate frozen yogurt (even though it was cold out).
It was a really nice weekend!!


The League said...

Sorry I didn't get back to you Saturday. I didn't even roll out of bed until 11:00. I think this was the weekend of re-adjusting to Central Time instead of getting by on caffeine.

Did the Riverside Dog Park on Saturday. Scout is actually really well behaved out there.

J.S. said...

Well, I will admit that one of the first things out of my mouth this morning was, "I can't belive my brother didn't even text me!"
I'm pretty sure that you owe me a hot and sour soup or something after your lackluster performance.