Wednesday, August 29, 2012

'The Campaign' is a riot

Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis in The Campaign/Warner Bros. Pictures

It's a scream!

The car! The snakes! The nipple!

The snakes?

Folks, this is your gross, blatant in-your-face kind of movie, sure to be enjoyed by those who like base and vulgar movies like me.

All the political junkies in the area (about 99%?) will love this flick and its release right on the eve of this year's conventions which could not have been better timed had a right-wing senator not spewed the wrong word at the tip of the hour.

Caution:  The language is strictly XXX, not for dainty ears, but all of it essential “for the meaning.”  (Meaning?)

For anyone who's ever worked on a campaign the characters and themes will be, oh, so familiar. And when is offense in the defense of extremism a vice?  (See “tea party.”)

Jason Sudeikis and Will Ferrell in The Campaign/Warner Bros. Pictures

Some of the scriptwriters must have worked on the 2004 race in West Virginia where campaign themes echoed up and down those hills to the tune of "guns, gays and God."  Ask not what you can do for your country, but what can the country do for you?

Of course, there are few better to play the main role than Will Ferrell.  And what more ideal setting than the site of this year's Democratic National Convention ready to begin next week in North Carolina where hurricanes don’t strike so far inland and the Chinese are ready to buy thousands of acres and start a new company and skirt federal minimum wage laws by 95% and, really, given this Congress, is it unthinkable? 

(Biographical note:  Will Ferrell's parents are from Roanoke Rapids, N.C., and co-star Zack Galifianakis grew up in the Tarheel State where his Uncle Nick, 84, was a North Carolina congressman from 1967 - 1973.  In 1972 Uncle Nick ran for a U.S. Senate seat against a North Carolina stalwart by the name of Jesse Helms.)

But back to the movie:  Dan Aykroyd was in it?

Jack McBrayer of 30 Rock was the perfect head of the perfect Christian household.   And  Dylan McDermott (swoon) dressed all in black was villain extraordinaire. 


Zach Galifianakis, left, and Dylan McDermott in The Campaign/Warner Bros. Pictures

The wives played by Katherine La Nasa and Sarah Baker were splendid; ditto, the dogs. Jay Roach directed.

On a weekend afternoon at Tysons Corner, huge numbers laughed and hee-hawed at the show which does carry a message with a twist at the end.  Brother, can you spare a dime? 


Monday, August 27, 2012

National Archives salutes women

From left, Jennifer Krafchik, Jennifer Lawless, Joy Kinard, and Page Harrington at National Archives/Patricia Leslie

The public is grateful to National Archives for its annual recognition of Women's Equality Day celebrated every August 26, the day in 1920 when the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed granting women the right to vote. 

Last week Archives hosted a panel of three women who talked about Beyond the Vote: Post-Suffrage Strategies to Gain Access to Power.

A co-sponsor of the event was the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum whose executive director, Page Harrington, served as moderator for the discussion.

Jennifer Krafchik of the Sewall-Belmont House presented history of the women's suffrage movement and talked about the first woman elected to Congress, Jeanette Rankin (1880-1973, R-Montana), and cited the congresswoman's anti-World War I and World War II votes. 

Joy Kinard, a district manager for the National Park Service talked only about civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), but given that Dr. Kinard works at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House on Vermont Avenue, and C-Span was filming, it was a good time to promote her cause.

But it was Jennifer Lawless, an associate professor at American University and the director of its Women  & Politics Institute, who grabbed attention, enlivening the evening with her talk, humor and new information about women and elections.

She lamented the dearth of female candidates and noted how quickly women's issues have risen on the agenda of this fall's political races.  Who would have guessed two weeks ago? 

(Enter stage right Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri.)

“Women make a very important difference” in elections, Dr. Lawless said, for they “almost always decide” outcomes, and they are much more politically active than men.

In the early 1990s Republican women in Congress often sided with their female Democratic counterparts on women’s issues, but severe Capitol Hill polarization now pits party vs. party, and female representation makes no difference when votes are cast. 

The Year of the Woman was 1992 when unprecedented numbers of women ran for office, propelled to action and getting their names on ballots by the 1991 case, Anita Hill vs. a male-only U.S. Senate panel in the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination battle. 

So why has the number of female candidates slowed?  Women represent just 17 percent of the members of the U.S. Congress.

You can't blame the media for distorted representations for Lawless and Richard L. Fox analyzed 5,000 news stories about male and female candidates and uncovered no gender differences in coverage. 

You can’t blame voters who, research reveals, show no bias against female candidates of either party.

You can't blame lack of money for once females get going, they can raise goodly sums of cash, and Lawless ought to know since, without a lot of effort (she indicated) she was able to raise $400,000 for her own congressional race in Rhode Island in 2006. (She lost, but once you hear her, you wonder about the loss, instead, to the Rhode Island residents who can't claim her as their representative.)  (The average congressional race costs about $1 million.)

What you can blame are poor self confidence and the misconception that women believe they are not qualified, nor do they have enough money to run for office.  A lot of money is not needed in most of the 525,000 elected positions (!) in the U.S. It's the presidential race and some Senate elections where hefty sums are necessary, and that’s what attracts press attention.

“The perception problem matters more than reality,” Lawless said.

Female candidates do better when they strike out on their own and are not associated with campaigns run and dominated by men, research shows.

The importance of appearance came up for discussion, too. 

Dr. Kinard said that although Ms. Bethune was overweight, she was always dressed to the nines with gloves, hat, and a level of sophistication which silently transcended her surroundings and sent strong messages that she was to be respected and admired. 

When people show up on doorsteps with tattoos, their level of sophistication is entirely different, Dr. Kinard said.  Look at Hillary Rodham Clinton and the way she presents herself, said Dr. Kinard.  “We need more younger women to love themselves to get a man to respect them.”

There’s more talk this year about how the male candidates dress, too:  People are talking about Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s “ill-fitting suits,’ Dr. Lawless said.

This fall she will be teaching a course at American University about this year's election, and it is a certainty that the course is already full. 

About 150 persons of various ages and races attended the presentation at Archives with more males present than one expected.  They made up about 20 percent of the audience. 

What:  National Archives

When: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. through Labor Day (September 3), closing at 5:30 p.m. after Labor Day through March 14, 2013

Where: Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 9th streets, NW

How much: No charge

Metro station: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter or walk from Metro Center

For more information: 866-272-6272

So in love with Al Green at Wolf Trap

The Rev. Al Green at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie

He may be heavier and not as lithe on his feet.  He may have a little less energy, but his voice has not changed, still that unmistakable Al Green sound, strong and able to hit the high notes for minutes at a time, and he is 66 years old. 

The Rev. Al Green at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie

Al performed for a little over an hour at Wolf Trap to the cheers and delight of the sold-out crowd who came to hear the legend, and no one nearby expressed disappointment that the star of the night did not return for an encore. 

Compared to his visit four years ago at Wolf Trap, it was a tamer audience Friday night, not one to shake a tail feather too much in the aisles, but still enthusiastically in love and happiness with the man and his music.

"I sing because I am happy," he told his adoring fans, and he seemed glad to be there.

One of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, Al sang the hits the fans came to hear (Take Me to the River, Love and Happiness, I'm Still in Love With You, Let's Stay Together, Tired of Being Alone), adding a blended medley of Roy Orbison (Pretty Woman)  and Otis Redding (I've Been Loving You Too Long).

The people joined in for many of the numbers and often sang a cappella without the entertainer, to the chagrin of some guests who came to hear him and not the throng. 

"I've had my ups and downs," Al told the crowd, but "God has been good to me!" He often gave thanks to the Lord which he does regularly in Memphis where he is a pastor at the Full Gospel Tabernacle, not too far from Graceland.

Al's backup crew of three females in sedate outfits strengthened his sound, and two male dancers, dressed identically and frequently changing costumes, added visuals.  There are no scantily-dressed performers on Al's stage. 

Al Green's backup singers/Patricia Leslie

He wore a white shirt and jacket (which he removed and put back on three times) and throughout his performance picked up long-stemmed red roses from the keyboard top which he cast to the ladies who were lucky enough to get seats up close.  We're still in love with you, Al.

The Rev. Al Green at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie

The Rev. Al Green at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie

The Rev. Al Green at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie

The Rev. Al Green at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie
The Rev. Al Green at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie
The evening started right with the incredible, Grammy award winning Taj Mahal, age 70, who played his own sexy brand of blues which combines zydeco, Reggae, and African sounds. 

Taj Mahal at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie
Taj Mahal at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Freaks frolic free at Edinburgh's Festival Fringe

A Fringe performer outside Edinburgh's St. Giles Cathedral/Patricia Leslie

This is what some of the “fringe” looked like at the beginning of this year's annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the granddaddy of them all, with 30,000 (!) performances and 2,600 productions.

How is this fellow afloat? You figure it out/Patricia Leslie

Tickets for Edinburgh's Fringe are about the only thing found in the U.K. and Ireland which are cheaper or almost equal to prices in the U.S.  ($22 converted vs. $24 for the D.C. Fringe with admission button.)  Plus, there are many cheaper tickets and some free performances, too, along High Street (the Royal Mile) in Edinburgh.

A jeweled empress presides over the Royal Mile kingdom (queendom?)/Patricia Leslie 

What is the Fringe?  It's performances of all makes and models by artists from around the world who perform short (usually under 60 minutes) uncensored dance, opera, theatre, comedy, musicals, you name it, in various local venues, often with minimalist sets.
The Museum of Natural History wants to inventory her face/Patricia Leslie

Last year 1.8 million tickets were sold at the festival which ends August 27.  Wikipedia says Dudley Moore (1960) and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Gilderstern are Dead (1966) got their starts at the festival, now celebrating its 65th year.

Ah, Edinburgh!Patricia Leslie

Monday, August 20, 2012

Titanic exhibition at National Geographic ends September 9

The bow of the Titanic, photographed
by Hercules, a remotely controlled vehicle, in June, 2004/U.S.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island and Wikimedia Commons
The most fascinating part of the Titanic exhibition at National Geographic comes near the end where descriptions of its discovery and depictions of the shipwreck reveal what it looks like now, more than two miles below the surface of the sea.

A constructed model of the present appearance of the ship suggests a tombstone on a remote and uninhabitable planet where 1,496 persons died.

A scale model of the Titanic's sunken bow which was used for the movie, Titanic, and by James Cameron for planning archaeological expeditions to the ship.  Access points help determine where remotely controlled vehicles (ROVs) may enter and exit the ship. 20th Century Fox Film Corporation/Patricia Leslie

At National Geographic visitors can see "Elwood," one of the actual little remotes used to weave in and out of the wreck.

"Elwood," an "ROV," weighs about 100 lbs. above water, and was developed and built by James Cameron's brother to maneuver inside the ship.  Two ROVs were operated simultaneously:  one to light the ship and one to film/Patricia Leslie

For anyone with the slightest knowledge of the Titanic’s voyage and tragedy, however, there is little new in the first half of the exhibition which chiefly features props from the 1997 movie, Titanic. 

A cherub light fixture from the film, Titanic. 20th Century Fox Film Corporation/Patricia Leslie

National Geographic's Titanic exhibition is certainly better for the admission value ($8 vs. $22, converted) than the disappointing, new and much larger museum in Belfast, Ireland which is practically nothing more than a tame indoor amusement ride and visuals upon walls. (Unless you are in the construction business.) More about it later.

"Explorer-in-residence" and the director of the movie who has made more than 30 dives to the shipwreck, James Cameron, tells a fascinating story about investigating the Titanic's remains in "Ghostwalking in Titanic."  Robert Ballard discovered the shipwreck in 1985. 

For excellent photos and present-day interior scenes of the sunken ship, visit  National Geographic's website.

Children play on a lighted recreation of a silhouette's ruins/Patricia Leslie

What: Titanic:  100 Year Obsession

When: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily through September 9, 2012

Where:  National Geographic, 17th and M streets, NW, Washington, D.C.

Admission: Adults: $8; seniors, military, students: $6; children ages 5-12, $4; school and youth groups, under age 18,  no charge. Purchase tickets here.

Closest Metro station:  Farragut West or Farragut North

For more information:  800-647-5463

Friday, August 17, 2012

Emmylou Harris sings praise at Wolf Trap

Emmylou Harris with the Red Dirt Boys at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie

When she introduced her song about Emmett Till Wednesday night at Wolf Trap, Emmylou Harris included praise for President Obama and his family. 
You would have thought it was a Democratic rally, the way the crowd cheered and roared approval. There must have been no Republicans in the sold-out audience since no support for the other side or booing was heard which sometimes happens when the opposition is mentioned. 

But this is Northern Virginia, land of the Democrats who are expected to carry the state in November again, and with a little help from their friends it will likely happen again, but this message is not about politics (well, maybe a little), but about Emmylou Harris and her performance, but she's got a lot of message music, if you know what I mean.

Emmylou Harris with the Red Dirt Boys at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie

Not only did she sing about Emmett Till and tell why he is such an important person in American history, but she sang a song she wrote about a dog.  Not a human dog or an "ex," but a real dog, "My Big Black Dog."  In her backyard in Nashville she said she keeps an animal rescue station, so she sang "to all the critters out there."   It was a right mellow tune.  I suppose dogs can be political.

Did you know she got her start in D.C.?  Me neither.  At Clyde's in Georgetown, she said.  And before that she was the high school valedictorian at Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge, Virginia, according to program notes. I imagine those sites have historical markers by now.

I am not familiar with Emmylou's music, just her voice, and therefore recognized none of her tunes, but that didn't make them any less special. 

She started off the evening with a tribute to country music legend Kitty Wells who died July 16 at age 92, singing "Making Believe" which took both artists close to the top of the charts.

When John Starling came out on stage to sing a single number with Emmylou, it was probably the most excited the people got, but it wasn't a Seal or Al Green crowd (coming up) so no one was out of his or her chair whoopin' and carryin' on like what happens sometimes.  About 90% of the audience were senior citizens, over the age of 55, I would guess (and 99.9%, white).

And Emmylou may be 65, but she sure doesn't look it, act it, or sing like it. Her voice is still crystal clear with that Nashville twang, and she needs no back-up from other singers to make it sound strong.  (Cher’s “last” concert tour which I saw in Nashville about 10 years ago was nothing more than costume changes, video, and back-ups to add strength to Cher’s voice.  Emmylou requires none of that.)

Except for a few changes in the colors of the lights when the crew flipped a switch, the stage stood plain and honest.  None of that fancy stuff, clothes change, sparklers or lightning shows, if you please.

Emmylou Harris with the Red Dirt Boys at Wolf Trap/Patricia Leslie

It was shocking earlier in the evening at precisely 7:30 p.m. to hear music wafting up to the bar area, but Emmylou started right on time. Who ever heard of such a thing?  An usher told me the word among the ushers was Emmylou goes to bed early (!), and that's why she preceded John Prine.   Whatever.  Emmylou's first act lasted 90 minutes and made her audience smile, kiss, and dance. What more would you want?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gauguin, Cezanne, and Matisse only in Philadelphia

Aristide Maillol, The Three Nymphs, 1930-38, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C./Patricia Leslie

An exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the only place in the U.S. to see “Arcadia” or “earthly paradise” where, depending upon your mood and acceptance of the surroundings, you may enjoy a stroll through galleries and likely benefit from the emotionally medicinal effects of the exhibition, Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia.

(A suggested sub-title for the display is “Naked People in the Woods” which, indeed, mirrors titles of two of the paintings, Three Nudes in the Forest by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Nude in a Wood by Henri Matisse.)

On a press tour, the museum’s senior curator of European painting before 1900, Joseph J. Rishel, teasingly said, for reasons of modesty, he could not tell his audience about certain drawings by Henri Matisse, and he pointed to a wall several feet away where Matisse hung. (By Jove, let’s go take a look! Unfortunately, I was unable to locate any suggestive renderings.) 

Senior Curator of European Painting before 1900, Joseph J. Rishel, talks about Nicholas Konstantinovich Roerich's Our Forefathers, c. 1911, Philadelphia Museum of Art/Patricia Leslie

Whatever viewers may find, Philadelphia hosts another blockbuster show which runs through September 3, 2012.

Henri Rousseau, Pablo Picasso, Robert Delaunay, Paul Signac, Nicholas Poussin, Georges Seurat and Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova of Russia, who may be the only female representative, are some of the 27 artists featured in the display of 60 works organized by PMOA from collections around the world.

Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova, Boys Bathing, c. 1910, Museum Wiesbaden, Germany

The exhibition focuses on three large paintings hung together in one gallery which form “the very foundations of modern art,” according to the museum:   Paul Cezanne’s The Large Bathers (1906), Paul Gauguin’s Where Do We Come From? What are We? Where Are We Going? (1897-98) (Question: Do you ask yourself this every day?), and Matisse’s Bathers by a River (1909-17).

According to Curator Rishel, before World War I artists were “fueled by high optimism and sometimes profound unease,” and they “looked inward and toward each other to give creative shape to the common fate of the human condition.”

It is probable that both Cezanne and Matisse saw and/or heard about Gauguin’s Where? What? Where? which may have influenced their own choices for an “earthly paradise.”

It was a time of vast social and technological changes (sound familiar?) and the artists desired a return to a saintly, more simplistic state, a land of make-believe where humans harmonized with nature in Eden-like settings. No rush, no horns, no mean people snapping at you, but tranquility and serenity. Who doesn’t need such an escape? 

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Goatherd of Terni, c. 1871, Philadelphia Museum of Art

This magical, mystery tour of beautiful bodies in peaceful landscapes is a certain prescription for malady.

Henri Edmond Cross, Study for "Faun," 1905-06, Musee de Grenoble, France

Robert Delaunay, The City of Paris, 1910-12, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris

Combine a trip to the exhibit with visits to Philadelphia’s newly re-opened Rodin Museum, the new Barnes, and the historic Eastern State Penitentiary, all within walking distance of the PMOA.

And a good place to eat right in the neighborhood is the London Grill at 2301 Fairmount Avenue. It was every bit as good as Fodor's described, with delicious hamburgers and an arugula salad with tomatoes (sub for fries) to die for. Plus homemade beer! What a ride. Right on the way to the prison.

A trip by Amtrak from Washington to Philly is usually always stress-free and economical. And you can take your food, your luggage, your beverages, and bypass the TSA wardens.

Let us go then, you and I, and return to the forest unashamed and welcoming of nature and its bounty, and forget the turmoil which surrounds us daily in the sea of madness.

What:  Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse:  Visions of Arcadia

When:  Now through September 3, 2012 (open on Labor Day), Tuesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and open late on some Friday nights

Where:  Philadelphia Museum of Art, the landmark on the hill at 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Admission (includes audio tour): $25 (adults), $23 (seniors), $20 (students, 13 - 18), $14 (children, 5 – 12), free for children under age 5.  Discounts and private tours are available.  Check here.

For more information: 215-763-8100 and

Aristide Maillol, The Three Nymphs, 1930-38, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C./Patricia Leslie

Monday, August 13, 2012

'Queen of Versailles' is worth a look

Magnolia Pictures

It is amazing that the Queen of Versailles (Jackie Siegel) never loses her temper.  Nor is she moody.  She is quite likable, pretty, and always provocatively dressed.

This movie is about the everyday lives of one couple (the Siegels), the ego of Jackie's husband (David), who is the developer of the largest condominium projects in the U.S., and the construction of their 90,000 square foot house, the largest house in the U.S. which practically collapses under the weight of the 2008 fall of the House of Banks and Lenders.

David and Jackie Siegel/Magnolia Pictures

Despite what you may have read, this show is by no means a comedy, but a sad reality demonstration about consumerism and its excess.

And if you ever wanted a peek inside a McMansion McMansion (and more) and how the very rich are different, now's your chance. 

David Siegel, the antagonist and driver of this documentary, treats his family, including his wife, like the little dogs which run around the house making natural deposits indoors, except Siegel is nicer to the pets. 

While waiting on the completion of the "big" house, they live in 25,000 square feet with their seven children and the daughter of Jackie's brother, a remarkably mature girl, like her cousin, the Siegels' oldest daughter, both of whom seem to have more street smarts than Jackie who is somewhat naive. 

In an interview (all the subjects are interviewed repeatedly), the daughter says her mom was probably a "trophy wife" for her dad who is 30 years older.  Who would have guessed?

The children seem well-adjusted and pleasant enough, a surprise and likely due to nanny care which contributes to Jackie continuing to bear children, she says. 

Magnolia Pictures

When 2008 strikes and the money supply shrinks, things begin to go awry.  The household staff is cut from 19 persons to four.  No help for the pet menagerie! 

PETA alert!

Jackie discovers a pet lizard has died from lack of water and food, and a daughter says it's because no one would take her to the pet store.  (You can only get water at a pet store?) 

One of the sons says "Lizard? I didn't know we had one." (It is not your usual standard three-inch green lizard, but one of those special ones, probably from Texas.)

There is also a pet python which Jackie worries has possibly eaten two new puppies missing somewhere in the house.  David has kindly had two of Jackie's deceased dogs stuffed, and they    decorate the house, one in a glass case.  If only animals could talk.

Instead of a "rags to riches story," David calls it a tale of "riches to rags."

He experiences difficulty paying the notes on the houses and all his developments and worries, quite naturally, about money and the future, but neglects to inform his wife just how bad things really are.  Jackie picks up hints, however, when the children are moved from private to public school (horrors!), and she learns at the airport that a rental car (must she?) comes sans driver, and they really should turn off so many lights and who left the front door open? 

When riding on a commercial aircraft, the children want to know what all the strangers are doing on their airplane.  (It is simply a riot.)

The love and affection Jackie has for David is obvious throughout the movie, but in one scene, he rejects her and says "no, I don't want to kiss you."

Jackie (more than once): "When I turn 40, you said you were going to trade me in for two 20-year-olds." 

David:  "Oh yeah?  60 will be better, and then I can trade you in for three." He is smitten by a Miss America who comes to their house for some kind of celebration with all the other state beauty queens and appears intermittently later.  (Please, how do I join his fan club?)

He claims he personally got George Bush II elected to the presidency, but when asked how, responds that it must be kept secret since it may be unlawful.  Certainly! The Siegels' houses are in Florida, not the whole state, but in and around Orlando.

Why did they do it?  Why did the Siegels permit a camera crew to film them and their children?  Why do subjects allow this invasion of privacy?  Oh, they like celebrity.  I forgot.  Nonetheless, it is painful to watch the dissolution of the marriage and project its effects upon the children.

The film is solid evidence that some is never enough and if the Siegels are ever able to complete and move into "Versailles," (now on the market for $75 million), can 120,000 square feet be far behind?  Do the Miami Dolphins have an indoor field?

The movie is inspiring:  It will inspire you to curb your spending, to spend less than you make, to count your blessings you are smarter and more level-headed than the raging ego which consumes David Siegel whose mantra is to be the biggest billionaire and beat everyone else at the game and announce it in the biggest and most extravagant way possible, including trumping (can't resist) the Donald.  But, is that the mantra of us all?

Queen of Versailles will be nominated for Academy Award for Best Documentary (Lauren Greenfield, director), and, I hope, for best original score (Jeff Beal), and I thought the cinematography was excellent.  (Ms. Greenfield won at Sundance.)

The credits reveal many more females than usual who directed, executed, and produced the film. Congratulations to all.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Loch Ness monster scene in Scotland

In the distance "Nessie" made her appearance/Patricia Leslie

Take a look at these photos:  What do you think?  From a boat on the famed Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands last week, this is what we saw from onboard:  "Nessie" who (which?) inhabits the huge loch, according to legend, that is 22.5 miles long and quite deep (754'), but she (of course) needs all that space to roam. And swim.  And eat. (What does she eat?)

Nessie's presence was keenly observed/Patricia Leslie

Giving life to the much-searched sea creature was "Nessie's Monster Mash" premium beer sold on the boat which, to those who consumed it, made Nessie seem even larger than life, however, Nessie neither growled nor roared nor made any sounds whatsoever, strangely enough.  

The only noise came from liquid sloshing both onboard and overboard, and from the boat's crowd, captured by the sights and romance of the day and making toast to the subject which drew us to the gorgeous loch in the first place. 

The boat rocked gently whenever "Nessie" came up for air/Patricia Leslie

In a LiveScience story this month, Benjamin Radford makes folly of "sightings."  Whatever.

We were just happy our boat and crew were well enough equipped to supply all the necessities we needed:  a thorough description of Nessie and the search for her, a powerful boat engine to make a quick "getaway" (if needed), life jackets, Nessie books, trinkets, nuts, and plenty to drink, mate. 

The cattle weren't bothered too much by "Nessie"/Patricia Leslie