Monday, June 30, 2008

Italian Festival in Washington, D.C.

Yesterday was the annual Italian Festival in Washington, D.C. Every year they focus on a different region of Italy and this year it was Lazio's turn. It's a small festival, but nice. In area where it's rare to hear Italian heard, it's nice to hear so many people speaking Italian around me. The gelato was good and we got to see some friends we hadn't seen in a while.

Click here for more photos and videos.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Avatar - A Fantastic Series!

I have become hooked on Avatar, The Last Airbender, an American cartoon series that is starting its fourth season soon on Nickelodeon. It is very well written and voice-acted. It is full with action, adventure, betrayal and redemption. It's funny, it's serious, it is meant for children but is hugely entertaining for we adults as well. It borrows from many different Asian traditions but the result is rather unique too. I highly recommend it!

Another Fantastic Italian Meetup

Another fantastic meet-up of Italian ex-pats at the fantastic Michelangelo's Ristorante!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Have the Cutest Pets in the World

My dog does this every morning. He stretches, he rubs his face with his paws, he rubs it against the wooden banisters of our staircase, and he's a lot of fun to watch!

The guinea pigs, well, they just love to eat. If we wait a little too long to feed them and they hear us nearby, they stand up on their hind legs and start squeaking in no uncertain terms. Translation: feed us!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Birthday Party at Wolf Trap Theater

My birthday isn't until Wednesday this week but that's a tough evening to have a party, so I planned it for last night instead. Thanks to my friend Irene (that's her son Arthur hamming it up for the camera) for her great idea to have a picnic on the lawn of the Filene Theater at Wolf Trap. As you can see if you click on the photo to enlarge it, the lawn is right above the seating area of the stage. Lawn seats were only $8.00 (cheaper than a movie!) and we got to watch The Gondoliers, a real fun Gilbert and Sullivan operetta set in Venice. Unfortunately, we had to cut it a bit short because of a lightning storm that came in. Anyway, thanks to all my friends who came to help me celebrate!

Outdoor Concert in Fairfax

I hadn't seen my friend Jill and her family for a long time so it was really wonderful to see them again!

Within walking distance of their home in Fairfax is a beautiful park and like many of the communities around here, they have weekly outdoor concerts in the summer. Friday evening I got to watch and listen and had a great time. It was peaceful surroundings and foot-thumping songs!

Thanks, Jill! Click here for more photos.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Steve and Shannon's Party

Steve and Shannon have been friends of ours for years and they always give the best parties! We were privileged to attend their party Saturday evening and had a blast. Thanks, Steve and Shannon! Their children, Maddie and Zach are child prodigies! Zach scored a whopping 700 on his SATs this year and Maddie has been making a big name for herself in theater. The coolest people ever!

Photo 1: Zach with three of his many girlfriends.

Photo 2: Me and Shannon!

Photo 3: The whole family, Steve, Shannon, Maddie and Zach!

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Reston Taste of the Town

On Saturday, we went to the Taste of Reston, where most of the restaurants at Reston Town Center had samples of their food out for tasting. It's always fun and we can check out lots of restaurants at the same time without spending a lot of money.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pull the String on the Car

I was at a red light when I noticed that this car had a red string trailing out of it for quite a bit. So is this like when someone walks out of a public restroom with a piece of toilet paper stuck to his shoe? Or is it a pull string like on a doll? I wonder what would happen if someone pulled it?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Fun with Closed Captioning

Have you ever turned closed captioning on during a TV show or DVD you're watching? I do this often for a couple of reasons. First, when I have to keep the TV low it helps to make out what people are saying. Second, when it's a foreign film or there are characters with heavy accents, it's easier to "see" what they're saying.

I find watching closed captions interesting for another reason. When watching shows that are not live, but previously scripted, such as a movie or TV sitcom, the closed captions don't often match exactly what is said on the screen. Obviously, that makes sense for live broadcasts where the closed caption writers are writing as fast as they can but why would that be the case for scripted shows? The only explanation that comes to me is that actors often are not exactly following the script or the director or someone else associated with the movie made last-minute changes.

That being the case, I believe, it's fun to see what changes are made before or during the filming of a movie.