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Showing posts from March, 2013

Harvard Exit - Seattle

The vegetation of the Pacific Northwest, the fauna I guess, is dizzying not only in its teeming variety but its mad fecundity.  Perhaps there's just as much variety in the my Midwest.  But to leave Chicago in late March and drop into Oregon or Washington makes the contrast seem even more stark.  This is as true in the midst of a fairly big city like Portland as it is when you go traipsing into the countryside of the Northwest.  Or driving.  Or strolling, I suppose.  Or otherwise conveyed.  
I sat in my friends' kitchen in Portland and watched the moss adhering to one of their backyard trees practically glow subsequent to an afternoon rain.  So it seems to go with the moss and lichen in this part of the world.  I stopped along a particularly verdant stretch the Umqua River valleyin Oregon several years ago to clamber down to a creekside and it seemed as though my rental car itself would start to grow some some of the soft, green, glowing stuff if left stationary for a few minu…

7th Street - Hoquiam

A day and a half bulging with the variety and extremes of Pacific Northwest climate, landscape and culture.  Brunch in a hip Portland eatery Thursday morning.  Snowshoing that afternoon up on Mt. Hood.  Stillness and silence as we walked across the deep snow covering a small forest lake.  After something of a snow-chain-applying debacle, a drive into near blizzard conditions at about 4000 feet to visit Timberline Lodge, where the exterior shots of The Shining were taken.  The snow looked to be 15 to 20 feet deep from the upper levels of the lodge as we had a quick drink.  Then, the prudent desire to get to well below 4,0000 feet before night fell.  As my friends and I tried to scrape the car windows clear of snow and ice - we did this with the caps from a couple of water bottles, lacking a snow scraper; obviously very prepared for these conditions - there could have been some homicidal father just yards away dragging his bloody axe and his psychotic ass through a maze of snow, lookin…


Oh, adolescence.  It can be such a dark, difficult time.  Particularly if you’re the unfortunate India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska).  Not only does she bear a surname which provides rhyming fodder for the menacing jocks who lurk outside her high school.  But not long into Stoker, the young woman finds out that her beloved father has died in his SUV in a mysterious accident.  Fast upon that shock, the father’s heretofore unseen brother, the mysterious Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) shows up after the funeral and quickly ingratiates himself with India’s not-terribly-mournful mother, Evelyn (Nicole Kidman), very much to the chagrin of the melancholy child.
Lest this begin to sound like a contemporary, female Hamlet - dad barely dead and mom getting cozy with the creepy uncle almost before the body's cold -  first-time screenwriter Wentworth Miller has cited Hitchcock and not Shakespeare as a major influence, or at least jumping off point, in the composition of his screenplay for Stoker (t…