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Befade
Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:05 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3695 Location: AZ
I liked The Lobster but all I can remember of it is Colin Farrell. Now Iím watching Bad Therapy and not sure if Iíll like it.

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Befade
Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 1:29 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3695 Location: AZ
Started watching Sacred Deer last night. I still have 30 minutes to go. So far I think it has answered my conundrum about whether I like a film because of the story or the performances. Answer: the story. This film has great acting. Though itís puzzling to see that much hair on Colin Farrellís face. But the story! At first I thought it was amusing. On the surface everyone is stiff and polite but you know thereís an undercurrent. As the undercurrent becomes revealed there are extremes of repulsion to the story. Iím almost afraid of what the last 39 minutes are going to reveal......

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bartist
Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 10:02 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6609
...that almost fear seems justified.

I sorta lean towards plot/story over performances, too. Strong script is like the rising tide that lifts all boats (performances). Conversely, a notable performance cannot save a badly scripted POS.

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Befade
Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 3:51 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3695 Location: AZ
Bart.......After finishing the film and researching it I realized itís part of this new genre: Horror Humor. Or Itís funny being scared. Like Get Out or Parasite. Those 2 films I liked. I think The Deer had too many cringes to be comfortable with.

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bartist
Posted: Tue May 05, 2020 9:56 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6609
Maybe so. The squirm factor was so intense that, yes, humor was lost. And unlike, say, Get Out, there seemed no point, no delivery of some perspective on life. Now on to Parasite.

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Befade
Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 12:50 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3695 Location: AZ
Itís perspective on life would be something like karma or the biblical or mythology of sacrificing something precious (like a child) for sins committed.

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gromit
Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 1:13 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
I'm wondering if there will be cruises to Antarctica this Winter.
And if it might be possible to pick up a berth just a few weeks before sailing. Usually people buy cabins a full year out, which would mean a lot of sales in Dec and January and even Feb before people started worrying too much about the virus. There should be a fair amount of cancellations. Then again, I might not even be able to get to Argentina Dec or January.

I was just thinking of how to get an int'l vacation in this year. I was hoping for Ukraine and Moldova. Or Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan in late Sept/early Oct. But I doubt those places are going to get their act together this year re the virus.

The other option was a trip around Xmas or January, when I really wouldn't want to go to damn cold ex-Soviet Union. But that is the right time to go to Antarctica. Not sure about the logistics. Maybe they'd require everyone to get a Covid test first? The cruise industry has to get back on the seas at some point. I saw some Caribbean cruises out of Houston were aiming for August cruises. The only thing is if there is an infection on your boat, you're whole ship is pretty well doomed. And the Drake Passage would be one of the worst places to be on a Death Ship.
____________________________________________________

It's still kind of amazing that I took a European vacay from Feb 19 - March 3 to Athens/Malta/Cyprus via Moscow. Slipped through a fairly narrow gap. the Northern Italy & Iran outbreaks started making news circa Feb 22 I think. And by the last few days of Feb/early March, Europe was starting to get more serious. I almost wasn't allowed to fly to Athens from Cyprus (I was only 12 days out of China by then, and they had implemented the day before a 14 day requirement). One hotel in Nicosia (Feb 30) cancelled my reservation since they saw me listed on Booking.com as from China. Aeroflot had cut back from 2 flights a day to Shanghai to just 1 around Feb 24, etc.
The only inconvenience was Lufthansa stopped China flights in late January, so they gave me a refund and I simply switched to good old workhorse Aeroflot.

A weird calm-before-the-storm time.


Last edited by gromit on Wed May 06, 2020 11:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Befade
Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 7:52 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3695 Location: AZ
You were lucky. I came back from India at the end of October. Lucky to be there before the demonstrations. Now I donít feel comfortable driving to California. (Life under an Indian bedspread provides some comfort.)

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gromit
Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 11:44 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
How'd ya like India?
Which part(s) did you go to?

I've been vaguely meaning to get there. Sounds fascinating, but such a big messy place. At least they've started building out a highway system, so renting a car and zooming around seems plausible. The trains look fairly insane.

India with nearly the population of China, but in a significantly smaller area. If you add in the population of Pakistan and Bangladesh -- British India -- then its way more than China, and you can really see the effects of the nearly 35 year one-child policy in China.

One good thing for me is that it's super-easy to get vegetarian food in India. But I also imagine it's easy to get stomach trouble too. I picture India as rather dirty, crowded and none-too-clean, with lots of religious zealots. About 25% of my NJ hometown is Indian (~ 25,000 Indians). A long with a neighboring town or two, it's might be the biggest Indian community in North America.

Tell us a bit about your India trip, what you liked/disliked?

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Befade
Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 6:49 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3695 Location: AZ
We were in Rajasthan. There is so much to say. I could write a book. I loved it ‼️ It may well have been the most amazing experience of my life. Visually rich: the palaces, forts and temples with their carved marble and sandstone, inlaid with gems.....mostly Muslim buildings. One palace room was filled with only crystal furniture. The wealth. The poverty. The trash. The lack of personal space. We were on a high end tour so there were no worries about food. Some of us caught bad colds at the end of the trip. The throngs of people and cars and families of 4 riding on motorcycles. The cows and dogs along and in the roads (yes, good highways). The men peeing outside. The women shaping cow dung with their bare hands into discs for fuel. The thick wavy black hair of the men. The always stunningly bright clothing of the women. I loved the textiles, the miniature paintings, the man made lakes in Udaipur. They are the setting for the James Bond movie, Octopussy.

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gromit
Posted: Sun May 10, 2020 5:37 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
Sounds like a good trip.
Rajastan seems manageable since it's close to Delhi.
I guess that's mostly the Old Mughal Empire and huge castles and forts.
Since they were invaders, they really sucked up all the wealth and lived lavishly, while everyone else starved. The usual colonial racket.

Our next few trips should be:
- Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan
- Andorra and French countryside
- Belarus / Ukraine / Moldova

Not sure any of them will be doable this year, or by next Chinese New Year -- late in 2021, around Feb 21-27 I think. We'll see when the virus abates and international travel resumes. Could be a Covid-20 outbreak around November/December.

I've been trying to alternate one weird country trip followed by a normal easy country trip. So we had North Italy/San Marino/Slovenia; followed by the three Caucasus nations; and then Athens/Malta/Cyprus. So next go should be an ex-Soviet Union jaunt, with less English and more quirkiness. I like weird countries, but they are more tiring, can be more frustrating, and take more time/effort to plan.

We rarely do tours, as we tend to both rush and dawdle. We prefer our own pace. We took a day tour outside of Baku, Azerbaijan to see prehistoric petroglyphs, mud volcanoes, with a stop at the Caspian Sea, and a small hill permanently on fire, and finally a view over the city from the main hilltop promenade. And in Armenia, we took a 2 day tour. It was nice having someone else do the driving and getting us around. But I had to explain that our pace is wonky and flexible, and for him not to schedule too much. We also like to improvise. And there was a big county fair in the countryside so we went there and skipped whatever extra thing the guide wanted us to go to.

I think that might be my new strategy, to do at least a small tour or two in the quirkier countries.

How many people were on your tour?
We could probably handle a 3 day tour and then do the rest ourselves.
I'd like to do more single full day tours, but our group has early morning issues. Sometimes I eat breakfast, tour the city alone for an hour and half and then come back to get them. I'm not a morning person, but on vacation, I pretend to be one, because you see and do more that way.

So for India, food was good? Weather? If you have pics online somewhere, link us up to some.

I really need to get India into our list of destinations.
I seem to have managed to insert Ethiopia down on the list, but I think some family members are still a bit wary. Like India, Egypt also seems like an essential destination. I saw Egypt from the tip of Israel.

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Befade
Posted: Sun May 10, 2020 8:21 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3695 Location: AZ
How do I get pics on line....and send them?I do have some good ones. Ten people were in our group. We got along really well. Stayed at Oberois. Weather was dry, sunny 70s to 80s. Our Hindu guide was very knowledgeable. Took us to a lot of textile, etc. shops. Talked a lot about how arranged marriages work. TooK us to small hotel restaurants with cooking demonstrations. Good soups. Fish, lamb, chicken breads. I had watermelon juice every day. I love Indian food as long as itís not too spicy. Tour of Taj Mahal was probably my least favorite thing along with rickshaw rides. Itís going to be sad days with no travel......

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gromit
Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 6:09 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
You have to upload your pics to a site like photobucket or such and then provide us with a link to your photobucket page.

You can put photos directly here, but that takes up a lot of bandwidth, so an online photo storage site is better.

This site recs 10 photo dump sites:
https://www.lifewire.com/free-image-hosting-sites-3486329

Well, 9 that work, since Tiny Pic is defunct as of Sept 2019.

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bartist
Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 9:32 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6609
Just went to a photobucket page of mine, hadn't looked at in three years...and discovered an extortionist ad telling me they no longer do free hosting and I can pay a ridiculous fee to continue the page. Can't even log in, or click on specific albums, and it looks like half are gone. All that's left is around fifty pics they let you browse as a "story, " whatever TF that means. Be warned.


Also, RIP Jerry Stiller.

https://apnews.com/da9af8e69b4ad0ed702778929a1d868d

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gromit
Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 10:03 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
I think I recall hearing photobucket was getting desperate and pulling funny stuff. That Tiny Pic which went belly up was a photobucket sister site.

There are also sites such as Dropbox which aren't photo specific, where you can put stuff for others to see.

Photobucket still has an option for up to 250 free images.
But there are probably better choices.

My old photos on photobucket are still there unmolested.
I found one account which has tons of kitten pics form 2013 and 2014 when I was frantically giving away kittens and getting the adult cats in the garden neutered. Two of the moms I took in, gave away the kits and kept.

Check out these cuties:
https://s1281.photobucket.com/user/SunsRa/media/Snow%20White%20and%20Kits/IMG_20140413_141002_zps22ba931d.jpg.html?sort=3&o=23

The funny thing is my white cat is a large girl. A friend was taking care of her, and thinking of adopting her. I told her the cat might be pregnant. After a few weeks, she told me one day the cat wasn't pregnant, then the next day called to tell me the cat had 4 kittens. My Tatiana kept one, and that cat is in Germany now with her.

One of those white kittens I gave away to a stylish kindergarten teacher. In January 2020, her cat died, 6.5 years old, had stomach cancer. S0 a few weeks later I asked Olivia if she could take two of my 4 cats while I went to Malta & Cyprus Feb 19. And it all worked out well, and she decided to keep Lavender and Mr. Bacciagaloupe. They are real friendly happy cats. So I'm back down to a reasonable 2 cats.

Here's my other cat, Calliope, with her 5 kits from 2013:
https://s1281.photobucket.com/user/SunsRa/media/Calliopes%20Kits/1yeah_zps58d65a89.jpg.html?sort=4&o=0

https://s1281.photobucket.com/user/SunsRa/media/Calliopes%20Kits/14RembrandtCats_zps990d31cd.jpg.html?sort=4&o=14

You can scroll through.

I was a kitten factory for 2-3 years. I think 2013 & 14 I gave away 20 kittens per year. It was insane. It was like a full time job.

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