In the last six months, three of my closest friends have moved away. Carol and Sara moved in July; one went north (State College, PA) and one went south, to Raleigh, NC, each about five hours away. The final blow was Katie's slo-mo move to northern California, which commenced last Friday. She's visiting family and friends along the way (she's retired, too) and as soon as I heard her plans, I said "ROAD TRIP"!! The general idea was that I 'd ride along until I needed to head home, and Katie would plan an itinerary that would intersect with an Amtrak route.
Everything depended on weather, of course -- winter road trips are like that -- so it turned out that I could only manage the first leg, from Maryland to Raleigh, North Carolina. TO SEE SARA!!! Katie and I had a great day: light traffic, gorgeous weather, and lunch at a brewpub in Richmond where we practiced our posing skills.
Arriving at Sara's ****awesome**** coworking space in late afternoon, we enjoyed a tour of the "neighborhood" (a huge warehouse), which included a brewpub and a neon glass studio.
The glass studio is inhabited by some of the most interesting human beings I have met in a long time, but I am giving a special shoutout to DJ, a recent MFA in jewelry design, who is apprenticing with Nate Sheaffer, the owner of Glas, learning glass blowing and incorporating their new skills into all sorts of art. Take a look at the jewelry! And the glass! Stop by when you are in Raleigh, visit the Loading Dock (pat the dogs, take the tour), enjoy the beer, and BE SURE to look at all the amazing neon/glass work.
Katie left the next morning after breakfast (snif), leaving Sara and me to gad about Raleigh and environs sampling beer, eating great food, and going to dog adoption events. Her parents were looking for a pooch to fill out their cat-heavy menagerie. Success was achieved with the arrival of Winston, a lively Pekinese mix. Meeting families of friends/students/colleagues is always interesting; it adds another dimension to the person you think you already know. In Sara's case, it was easy to see where she got her love of animals, sense of humor, and sweet hospitable nature.
I also got some good work done with my brain, but it is still cooking and not ready to serve yet.
Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, pt. 1
I will post the rest of my reaction within a day or so, to give fellow-watchers a chance to see the film (available on Einsthusan for free, and ad-free for a very reasonable one-time payment). Questions to ponder: What is your first impression of Raj? What is Renu's first impression? How would you describe their chemistry over the course of the film? If you had a first date with Raj, would you go on a second? Feel free to add your own questions, of course!
It's an awkward time of year. The old academic year is over, and I am easing into several months of research and writing. My writing habits are pretty well formed at this point; I get up early and spend the morning on tasks requiring focus, and then take a lunch and play break and a nap. (Yes, a nap; haven't you heard they are good for you?) Then I get up, have some tea, and get another couple of hours of work done. Once a week, I go for a "walkabout" -- I head for a museum, or a mall, or the movies for a work-free wander. I had planned to see Shah Rukh Khan's Raees on a walkabout in July. He's my very favorite actor and this promises to be intense. HOWEVER, the release date has been moved from Eid (July 7) to January 26, 2017, leaving me and his millions (billions?) of fans SRKless for the entire summer.
My solution is to embark on a personal Shah Rukh Khan film festival. I am going to watch at least one SRK film per week until Raees comes out. (He's appeared in more than 80, and many are available via Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services, so that's totally doable.)
I am starting with a themed series I am calling "First Dates with Shah Rukh Khan". This will be a series of films debuting leading ladies who have appeared in more than one SRK film. First up: Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, with Juhi Chawla. It's available FREE on Einthusan, if you want to play along.