Tag Archives: legos

It’s 2015, Big Eyes!

Larry & I made it through a nice and relaxing and stress-free NYE last night, watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin on CNN’s NYE broadcast from Times Square.  They were of course endlessly entertaining and made us laugh throughout the night, while we kept warm at home and enjoyed a quite delicious bottle of Saddlebrook Champagne from the local Malibu Wines.  After the previous 2 years, it’s good to have had a simple and harmless event.  And despite usually having a terrible hangover from champagne, this was good stuff and we were pretty good this morning!

One of the first things I ended up doing was putting together my gift from Alyssa & Jon:  a LEGO set of the United Nations!  As has been readily apparent, I am all about these LEGO Architecture sets.  They’re so much fun to put together and I’ve been loving the sets of places that I’ve actually been to, as I also have a Rockefeller Center set and then the one that Larry got me for my birthday, the Trevi Fountain.  The white pieces and the clear blue pieces are beautiful – I can’t imagine taking these sets apart, but if I did, they’d be fun elements to build something with.

So first, here are my pics of the LEGO set:

And since I seemed to have not posted these on my site even back in 2010, here’s the pics I took back from December 2010 when I went and visited the United Nations.  It had been on my list of places I wanted to visit and I wasn’t leaving NYC without doing so.  It was very awesome to get a chance to go there, and I even got some pics in the General Assembly!  I can’t remember why Larry didn’t go with me though, but afterwards I met up with my friend and former co-worker Pravi in Midtown for lunch and goodbyes.  Feels like forever ago!

December 23, 2010 – Visiting the United Nations

23-Dec-2010 09:42, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125
23-Dec-2010 10:29, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:29, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:29, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 8.0, 6.2mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 8.0, 6.2mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 200
23-Dec-2010 10:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 200
23-Dec-2010 11:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 200
23-Dec-2010 11:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 200
23-Dec-2010 11:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 200

Finally, time to the title and featured image of the post!  We went out and saw the movie Big Eyes this afternoon, and then grabbed some dinner at the Mexican restaurant there at the Americana called Frida.  Good food, and a great movie!

Big-Eyes-movie-posterBig Eyes (2014)

Saw this on January 1, 2015 at Pacific Theaters at Americana

This Tim Burton movie (!) tells the real-life story of Margaret and Walter Keane, who were married and responsible for the artwork known primarily because of the subjects’ giant eyes.  Here’s the trailer:

As it shows, Margaret was the actual artist of these drawings and paintings, while her husband Walter took the credit for it and was the one who promoted and sold the hell out of them.  She would be toiling on the paintings in secret back at home while the world thought Walter Keane was the talent.  It was the late 1950s and early 1960s so the social mindsets seemed to lean towards skepticism of female artists, so Walter took it upon himself to be the front man.  Watching this all go down from 2015, it is really hard to watch.  Amy Adams as Margaret is amazing but you want to just scream at her character that she deserves so much better!   Alas, she goes along with this arrangement for a long while, until of course she doesn’t.

Both Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are great in the roles – she is especially good in the role, even though it requires her to rein in a lot and play someone who is bound by her domineering husband and fear of what would happen if she were to say something.  Waltz is on full smarm mode but that is what the role calls for, and you just want to punch him in the face.  But that’s him doing a great job as Walter Keane!  I think what is surprising is how little this feels like a Tim Burton movie, as he’s the same director of such movies as Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, to name just a few.  There’s a moment where you get some of his signature weirdness in the movie, but besides that, it’s a very traditional-style movie.  Larry pointed out that still there is a lot of composition of shots that Burton pulls off that help frame the movie much like a 1960s postcard which does require some directorial flair.  Regardless, it’s a very good movie and left me wondering how the Keane artwork is formally recognized now?

Rain & Legos & The Theory of Everything

Well go figure – it’s raining in Los Angeles.  Not only today, surprisingly, but also it’s going to rain this week and apparently quite a lot.  I love that we’ll get the rain but I dread the traffic that’ll arise from it.  UGH.  I took some pics today of the rain because it’s always an event when we get it!

For the final day of November, I figured it was finally time to put together my other LEGO gift from Larry, the Trevi Fountain set.  It was a blast to see it all come together and I am now needing to get many more of these LEGO Architecture sets. I long ago got the Rockefeller Center one and that sits in my office, but this Trevi Fountain one is likely staying at home. I like the memories it carries with it as it makes me think of our trip to Rome.  I added some of the photos from Rome we took in 2011 to show some contrasts with the LEGO set and the real place.  I should put a LEGO guy where we sat when we tossed our coin into the fountain!

Here are the pics of the set I took after building it today:

This month’s posting schedule was certainly lacking, wasn’t it?  I think I’m going to try to finish off the year strong, as I had intended when I started this renewed effort to post much more regularly at the beginning of 2014.  Here’s hoping I get to post about good stuff in December.  I’ve been quite stressed about certain things going on and I have a feeling that one way or the other I will find some stuff out this week.  I actually feel confident about the situation, but I am well aware that things can definitely not go your way.  I’m ready for that too.

Oh, I think regardless of how the above turns out, I’m dragging Larry & myself back to Disneyland.  This time, we’ll spend the night there and go for 2 days though.  Not wanting to do the 16-hour adventure again!

2014-11-11-movieposterThe Theory of Everything (2014)

Saw this at the Hollywood Arclight Cinemas on Nov 29, 2014

Oh Yeah!  Larry & I went to the movies yesterday.  We went and saw The Theory of Everything, the movie that tells the story about Stephen Hawking’s life with his wife, Jane, and the ups and downs they experienced from when they met, when he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and his eventual great success in the world of astrophysics and cosmology despite his physical conditions.

I have to put it out there that I fully expected this to be a romantic and a defying-the-odds portrait of a superhuman couple that pushed through the hardest of circumstances and came out the other end even more in love and successful.  It’s clear I hadn’t read a Wikipedia entry on Stephen Hawking, isn’t it? As while the movie starts off on a path of being a beautiful biopic of someone with a fantastic intelligence beset by terrible tragedy and the strong woman beside him through it all, about halfway through, that movie goes away.  Something much more interesting and real ends up on the screen instead, and while jarring at first, you end up thinking about these characters as real people who aren’t perfect and superhuman.  They do their best but aren’t afraid to face the facts when they need to be faced.

It’s a fantastic movie about a very fascinating couple and will likely get nominated for quite a few awards.  Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking is amazing and becomes unrecognizable once he starts portraying the stricken Stephen Hawking;  Felicity Jones is also quite good as Jane Hawking, and both give performances that make you like and respect each of these real persons.  This is NOT a movie that will help you to understand what Stephen Hawking’s scientific theories are about though – you’ll need to watch Cosmos or go ahead and read “A Brief History of Time.”  Honestly, I think I do want to read that now, as in this movie you are reminded how interesting and awe-inspiring Mr. Hawking is.