Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Baader Meinhof Complex

A few months ago, I read the synopsis of a movie showing at one of my favorite theaters, Landmark E Street downtown, called The Baader Meinhof Complex, a subtitled German film. I remember it being a movie set in 1970s Germany about a Red Army faction, and the online summary had words like "fascism", "German democracy","American Imperialism", "radicalized children of the Nazi generation". For some reason, those words turned me off from running out to see it as soon as possible, so I never got around to it.

So, last Wednesday, when I saw that this movie was already showing on cable, at 10 pm on Cinemax, I turned it there to see what I missed, even though it was almost my bedtime.

It didn't take long to realize that I screwed the pooch on this one.

The Baader Meinhof Complex is indeed about a Red Army faction in 1970s Germany. The group (the RAF) is made up of young German activists, well, terrorists, who organize bombings, bank robberies and full blown assassinations to wage war against the new face of fascism: American imperialism supported by the Old-Nazi German establishment. I know what you're thinking, there go those words again, *yawn*. But the movie was much less political than action-packed, full of explosions, shootings, and some seriously radical behavior by the RAFs organizers, namely, Baader and Meinhof.

I couldn't take my eyes off the screen for three, yes, almost THREE hours, and not just because it's fully subtitled, lol. I couldn't wait to see what the group would do next, or what would happen to them, or how they would react, or what the POLIZEI would do next to catch them.

I ended up going to bed after 1 am totally satisfied by my movie experience. Probably one of the best movies I've seen in the past 10 years. Now if only America would make one.
The Baader Meinhof Complex, 4 stars.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Party at the Nature Center

Sunday, my nephew Christian and my niece Ariana had a party at the Watkins Park Nature Center, since their birthdays are so close together, February 23rd and 26th. And what a fun party it was!

I set up my background stand and paper roll so that everyone could write their birthday wishes to the lucky siblings.

Ja'el is concentrating on...something.
Ashte and Islam
Time for the Animal Show!
The first thing she brought out was one of those hugeified Madagascar hissing cockroaches. And she gave everyone the opportunity to touch it! Although, not everyone did.
Then a toad, but we weren't allowed to touch it because all of the germs on our hands could make it sick, and not the other way around, to the shock of the children!
You should have SEEN the faces of the kids when she brought out this snake! They were instantly frightened...yet intrigued.
Then all of the kids had to vigorously wash their hands...time to eat!

And time for pictures! Saraia was so ready for her photo op.

In the meantime, the kids went bonkers for balloons.
My little starshine Christian has tremendous hops!
My favorite time...cake time!

Happy birthday biscuits!

FBCG Leadership Retreat

So, Friday I took off work to go on my church's leadership retreat--a conference where all of the ministry leaders, presidents and vice presidents, go to relax and learn new leadership skills for a day and a half. We took the bus to the Hyatt in Cambridge, Maryland, off of Route 50 past Annapolis and Easton. I know what you're thinking--Insana, you're not a ministry leader are you? Why no--I was asked to photograph the event!

When we arrived, I think I was a bit surprised at how many ministry leaders we had.

There's no such thing as a church function, even a retreat, without praise and worship.
The motivating theme for 2010 is "Beyond Beoyond", so a lot of outer space/Star Trek themes regarding leadership and an obedient crew were used, including clips from the actual movie!
Leaders were asked what they observed in each clip. This may seem silly but it was actually really, really good. Did anyone ever question the captain? Or did they just do what they were told? Did they gripe about other members of the crew?
We had a little fun too, and we even got to watch the full length movie at the end of the night! Luckily, Star Trek keeps it clean.

I had such a great time, I hope they ask me to shoot another one! It was great to be away, for even a day,


Monday, February 15, 2010

Running Woman

The recent snow we've gotten has made me feel extremely lazy and lethargic. It's hard to get out and go anywhere, and during the blizzard(s), all you want to do is stay in the house and eat because it's too dangerous outside.

That's why, for Valentine's Day, I bought myself something that I've been wanting, no, needing, for years.

A treadmill.

That's right, a treadmill. I didn't want to pay a lot for this bumper so I went straight to craiglist for my search. I found quite a few under $500, and then some under $400. I searched product reviews and began to rule out the most common brand I saw for sale, ProForm, because I read over and over again about them using low quality parts to construct their treadmills. I saw a couple of Horizons and even a few Reebok treadmills, but I settled on NordicTrack, which seemed to get great reviews across the board.

I found a great NordicTrack EXP 2000i on craigslist, being sold by a nice lady named Sherry. Her doctor told her that a treadmill would be bad for her knees, and that she needs a stationary bike instead.

So an hour and $250 later, check me out!

It folds up! And it even has all kinds of controls that I will try to program one day.
Sure I have nowhere to put it, but I'm so happy. I can't wait to go home tonight and watch 24 on my treadmill!
Walking this way,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow sucks

I can really say that since the first blizzard, I've left the house just about every day (except Saturday), and I felt like I was untouchable by the weather. But today, my spirit of activity was beaten. Instead of working at my computer (yes, real work), I had to wait for intermittent internet access to arrive and try my best not to eat myself to death.

I looked outside this morning to see how much snow had fallen. Oh. my. God.

Then, I attempted to open the front door and the wind howled right at that moment, scaring me.

Then I got on the computer. Facebook was my friend. I wonder if I can send it a friend request.

Then I ate a pbj sandwich and some dessert, and watched TV.
Then I used the bathroom.
Then I watched more TV. I got rid of a ton of stuff on the DVR.
Then I used the computer again. Internet service was spotty again, so I tried to sharpen something in Photoshop. I can't get it right. It keeps telling me something isn't selected, even when I selected an area to sharpen. I don't get it.
Then I watched more TV.
Then I got hungry again, and checked the fridge. There was plenty in there, but the dessert made me feel guilty for eating it, so I didn't get anything new to eat.
I used the computer again. My email was full of cancellations. Meeting after meeting, church services, etc. Of course. So I went back to watching tv. I must have fallen asleep.
Then I woke up because Mike called me, he'd gotten off work and needed me to pick him up. I was sleepy and lethargic but I got dressed anyway, and attempted to go outside.
I can't even get the screen door open. Seriously, I had to push HARD to get it open that far.
There used to be a walkway right beyond that bush next to my front door. Where did it go? I am trapped. Sad and trapped and bored. At least I have power.
This post was really for Mike, to see what I did today. See babe, nothing. And you always say I do too much. Aren't you proud?
If they haven't shoveled by morning, it's mani/pedi time.
See you when I dig out, we should have a post-blizzard party,