Tag Archives: national monuments

LEGO Landmarks!? Yes, please! (+ American Sniper Thoughts)

While spending $$$ at Americana and the Glendale Galleria, we ended up stumbling upon the fact that LEGO put in this fairly awesome collection of National Landmarks all around the Galleria.  We first saw the U.S. Capitol building when we entered the mall and were blown away by just huge it is.  I didn’t even realize it was made of LEGOs until we got closer as it was just such a giant model.  I picked up the handout for the exhibition which indicated that more models were to be found throughout the mall.  So we went on our LEGO scavenger hunt (not really worth being called a scavenger hunt as they tell you where everything was) while also shopping around to see if one of these lucky stores was going to sell me a suit.  Spoiler Alert:  none of the Galleria stores got lucky; had to go back to Americana for that.

So first up, the U.S. Capitol building:

06-Feb-2015 16:01, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 32
06-Feb-2015 16:01, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 50
06-Feb-2015 16:01, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 40
 
06-Feb-2015 16:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 32
06-Feb-2015 16:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 32
06-Feb-2015 16:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 40
 

Down the hall, past some other assorted LEGO creations such as a cityscape in the midst of a chaotic battle of Avengers and pigs, we then found the Statue of Liberty:

06-Feb-2015 16:07, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 50
06-Feb-2015 16:07, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 80
06-Feb-2015 16:07, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
 
06-Feb-2015 16:07, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 80
06-Feb-2015 16:07, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
 

Over by the Food Court, we found the U.S. Supreme Court building:

06-Feb-2015 16:18, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 40
06-Feb-2015 16:18, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 50
06-Feb-2015 16:18, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
 
06-Feb-2015 16:18, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 80
 

That was kind of neat to see, as I really had no idea the building was so big.  What the hell else is in the Supreme Court?

Next up was the Jefferson Memorial.  It was a bit smaller in scale than the other constructions, but still fun to marvel at as they even built the Jefferson statue within:

06-Feb-2015 16:19, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 40
06-Feb-2015 16:20, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 50
06-Feb-2015 16:20, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
 
06-Feb-2015 16:20, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
 

Opposite the Jefferson Memorial was a HUGE recreation of the Washington Monument.  It seemed important to build a very large scale version of it to help you appreciate the majesty of its presence in real life.  I also think it was built to be relative in scale to the size of a LEGO mini-fig.  Kind of hard to capture this construction until we got up to the second level:

06-Feb-2015 16:21, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 250
06-Feb-2015 16:21, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 40
06-Feb-2015 16:21, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125
 
06-Feb-2015 16:21, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 80
06-Feb-2015 16:22, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 50
06-Feb-2015 16:22, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 32
 
06-Feb-2015 16:22, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 40
06-Feb-2015 16:22, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 32
06-Feb-2015 16:23, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 80
 

Over in the Bloomingdales wing, we found another very large-scale construction which was of the White House.  Now here’s where I ended up learning something that is quite embarrassing:  I never knew/realized that the Oval Office was NOT in the actual White House.  It’s in the West Wing.  I swear I NEVER realized this and thought it was directly in the main house.  But nope – Larry pointed out what was “obviously” the West Wing as you could see the Oval of the Oval Office there.  That’s when my mind was blown.  Still kind of shocked I never knew that.

06-Feb-2015 16:24, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 50
06-Feb-2015 16:24, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 50
06-Feb-2015 16:24, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 40
 
06-Feb-2015 16:24, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 50
06-Feb-2015 16:24, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 50
06-Feb-2015 16:26, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.007 sec, ISO 32
 
06-Feb-2015 16:26, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 50
 

Right near the entrance to Bloomie’s (where I did NOT buy a suit, thank you very much) is where the Liberty Bell is located.  It didn’t get nearly as much love in terms of gawking as the other structures, but it was still a fun construction to marvel over.  I’m in awe of the artistry it takes to build something so intricate and impressive-looking.

06-Feb-2015 16:28, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
06-Feb-2015 16:28, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
06-Feb-2015 16:29, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 100
 
06-Feb-2015 16:29, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
 

Finally, at least for us, we then marched all the way back over to the Target wing area to see the last LEGO sculpture for us, the Lincoln Memorial.  That’s another very impressive structure to see but it was kind of hidden underneath the escalator, which gave me a sad.  It should have been out in the open like the Capitol building, but I guess the skin care kiosk mafia nixed that idea quick.  🙂

06-Feb-2015 16:56, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.059 sec, ISO 250
06-Feb-2015 16:56, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
06-Feb-2015 16:56, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
 
06-Feb-2015 16:56, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.042 sec, ISO 250
06-Feb-2015 16:57, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
 

It was a nice surprise to see these scattered throughout the mall.  As you may have seen from my image post yesterday, I did end up buying a suit, but it was back at Nordstrom’s in Americana.  I was taken care of very nicely by Adel in the Men’s Store there and even though it wasn’t exactly cheap, I got a great suit that fits great.  Now I have a nice dark suit to replace my first suit purchased way back in the day when I started interviewing for jobs upon deciding to get out of the Air Force.  That one did great for a long while, but I don’t really like it at all anymore.  It’s very bulky and wide, and while I’m not exactly svelte, that old suit does nothing for me while this new Hugo Boss suit does a LOT for me.

American-Sniper-2014Finally, today Larry & I went over to the Vista to see a movie for what feels like the first time in a while. Caught American Sniper as while there’s a whole lot of chatter about the subject matter, it is obviously striking a chord in a lot of people as it’s doing very well at the box office.  Plus, it’s gotten a lot of Academy Award attention too and a lot of people we know have seen it and loved it.

Well, I think we both walked away from the movie surprised as it was a very good movie.  It’s made in a way that you can potentially take different things away from it and that’s probably a mark of a good movie, and I’m glad Clint Eastwood bounced back from the godawful Jersey Boys.  Personally, I found this to be nothing like a jingoistic rah-rah war movie or propoganda.  It was clear this story was being told from Chris Kyle’s perspective, warts and all.  We see that he becomes quite a broken man from his experiences in Iraq as he deals a LOT of death through the course of his duties as America’s deadliest sniper but there’s of course a toll.  There’s a toll on his psyche as well as the explicit toll of seeing his comrades getting hurt or killed.  You understand where Kyle is coming from when he feels anger and sympathize with his struggles coming home as he’s shell-shocked at what he’s doing and gone through.  It’s a tragic story in the end as we know how this all ends up, and it is terribly ironic and sad that he dies not on the battlefield (after surviving FOUR tours of duty in Iraq) but at the hands of a disturbed veteran who Kyle is trying to help.

american-sniper_612x380_1I started to write some more about trying to reconcile what was told in this movie versus what is known, in hindsight, about our efforts in Iraq and about the real person Chris Kyle, but I don’t know if that really matters.  I think American Sniper shows how awful a warzone can be and you can take away from it what you want.  Me?  I’m fucking glad as hell I never went to the desert during my time in the Air Force.  I had friends who did and some of their stories scare the shit out of me.  I’m glad Larry & I saw this though.  On a purely superficial (and gay) level, there was some serious beefcake in this movie too.  Just sayin’.  And that’s how I will leave this review, on a totally superfluous note!