First things first. Reviews of the videos mentioned last time. Red Sorgum we saw with Seebs, who spent a year (10th grade) in China. Jordan and I thought it was okay, but it was slow and often confusing. Seebs loved it. It's definitely not typical Hollywood fare, and requires some interpretation. The same can be said of The Mirror, which is a Russian "picture poem." In that case, I spent the first 15 minutes assuming that a lot was lost int the translation, but soon realized that that wasn't the case. The back of the movie package described how the director doesn't intentionally confuse people, he just does. Lesson learned: just because everyone who's seen a movie loves it doesn't mean you will.
Jordan's mom, Catherine Hanson, came to visit last week. She lives in Petersburg, AK, so she doesn't visit often. She went to Windom to visit her mother during the middle of the week, so we only saw her at the beginning and last weekend. We watched a few DVDs, went out to dinner with my parents, and played Settlers of Katan. Oh, and she had her eyebrows waxed. I was at church when that happened.
I've started volunteering at church for the high school youth. It's fun so far. It makes me aware of how much I've matured since then, and given me a sense of what maturity is. It's familiarity. More than anything else it's familiarity with how things work and what your own limitations and expectations are.
My 10th high school reunion was the weekend of September 15. When I heard it was coming up last year I had to count the years: I don't feel that old. I'm just a wiser, more mature teenager. It wasn't until I got to the reunion that I realized that Jordan and I have been together for seven of those ten years. Many stories were shared and much was learned about these people. Many people looked the same. Most people looked different, some completely different.
Jordan's grandmother (Grandma Wood) died in early September and the funeral was on the 9th. Jordan and I met up with Jordan's dad and brother to go to her funeral in northern Iowa at the cemetary where her ancestors are buried. It was windy. The minister was a local guy who had never met her. Lunch was served for us in the nearby Baptist church. Afterward we visited the house on Lake Okoboji that Grandma Wood had lived in for many years and which Jordan's dad had designed. (The owners weren't there so we just walked around it and took pictures.)
Jordan and I have two videos to watch: The Mirror and Red Sorghum. These were recommended as among the best movies ever for us to watch according to MovieLens. We had to find a video rental place that specializes in obscure movies. When I was involved with MovieLens, there were problems with everyone getting high ratings on obscure movies that one person rated five stars, but the rating system was modified to take confidence into consideration. These movies might still have high ratings because only the people who really love foreign movies have searched them out, but we'll see. The computer can't tell the difference between new (or newly popular) movies which everyone loves and controversial movies which are only seen by people who know they'll like them. In my research, I stumbled over the fact that Pulp Fiction is the most-loved movie ever: nearly all the ratings were five stars.
Other news from the summer:
It's been a long time since I've updated this page. I've been too busy doing stuff to write about it. To wit: