Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Watching the Sun Set

Another morning stroll on the beach but in the other direction. Different! But back in time to get the girls up and fed and out the door for their appointment with the parasailors.

It'd be awesome to have pictures to post from my iPhone but due to a series of miscues and misunderstandings, that didn't happen. We didn't get to go with the girls as observers - don't get me started but the time to tell us we couldn't was before we paid and showed up at the dock. Of course, the time for us to ask to go would have been when we paid but, well, never mind. The girls went, fun was had, proof of same is in the pocket camera and I won't be able to upload those until we're home.

A snack and a cold drink afterwards and then back to the room. Tumbling in the sea for the girls, hanging by the pool for us as we waited for the dinner hour to roll around. It did and off we went to The Lazy Flamingo, for some no nonsense seafood - we'll have it fried, thank you very much.

Afterwards, a stop at a souvenir shop. Look at the time! Almost sunset. We hit the road - if you can call speeding along at 35 MPH, the posted speed limit, hitting the road - and headed for Captiva and arrived with a few minutes to spare. But a cloud bank muted what must be a daily display of beauty. But we were catching it as a family and that always makes the experience memorable.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On the Beach

We let the girls sleep in and headed out to Captiva. In the ten years since we were here last, a major hurricane had rolled through and we'd heard reports of major damage but if it were true, we saw no signs if it. The island looked as lush and green as we remember it. A sign of the times, though: nearly all of the big houses in Captiva are for sale. Word is you cam have one for only a few million. I've got an idea to form an LLC, buy one, rent it out, and get rich. Quick. Who's with me?

The day started out cloudy but the clouds soon burned off. The beach here, facing more directly west than where we're staying, was virtually empty. A long time visitor told us this is typical of the off season. Come back in October and forget about it. The water was lovely green and clear and calm. Lord I hope the oil stays away.

The girls called. Time to start the day for real. We picked them up and took them to rent scooters. Some jitters starting out - Clara crashed on an empty road, making a u- turn and got some minor bruises and scrapes. Rachel took a curve a little too fast and though it was scary she was unhurt. Just shaken and a bruised ego. Otherwise, a great ride covering much what we had seen in the morning.

We ate dinner at Mezzaluna. We still have the kids' cup from ten years ago. This time, no kids, just teens. Boogie boards in the Gulf afterwards. I joined 'em until black clouds and lightning far out at sea told us it was best to go in.

Monday, June 28, 2010


The sum rises on Sanibel Island, Florida.

We hit the ground running in Valdosta and raced down through Florida on I-75. Cloudless morning and warm but in Florida that won't last long. Soon the clouds piled high before us and the temperature climbed, compounded by the humidity. Not as bad as Oklahoma, I insist, but I'm overruled. Maybe it doesn't feel so bad because we're in vacation mode.

A stop at a Wal-Mart in north Fort Myers - hey, the same customers as back home! - and then the rest of the way in by Map Quest instructions. As always, their instructions are a little to literal; we went through downtown Fort Myers when I suspect we could have gone a little further south on 41 and picked up the causeway.

But we made it. Little changed since about 10 years ago when we were here last. Still paradise. Checked I'm, hit the beach - no oil! - and then a shower and drive in the cool evening to the Dairy Queen. The rest of the island was there.

Cloudy and windy this morning. May have to change plans. But let's enjoy the sunrise first.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Valdosta picture

Oops. Meant to send this picture with the previous post. I hate blogging with an iPhone! It's an iPad or netbook for me next trip.


Second leg complete. Raced across Mississippi, Alabama, and down through Georgia to settle in Valdosta for the night. If you stand on your tippy toes, you can see Florida from here.

Another great drive through more beautiful states. A bit hazy though. No matter. And Atlanta gave us some traffic worries though it always does so we've come to expect it. Some day we'll slow down and savor a bit more of this interesting, and history-filled, region of our great country.

But not today. Today is our final push to Sanibel, the end of our 1500 mile journey. Some breakfast, some loading of the SUV, topping off the tank with some lesser-taxed gas, and we're off!

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Olive Branch, Mississippi

The first leg of our three day journey to Florida is complete. A planned late start got us to Memphis by 8:30 and we jagged a bit south into Olive Branch. Oklahoma and Arkansas were achingly green, especially for this time of year The girls, as they've been all their lives, were perfect travelers, making the drive all that much easier. A great room, a great night's sleep, and what's looks to be a great breakfast.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is this the title of the post?

And is this the body?

And does this picture of Emily come through?

Test Blogging From My iPhone

As I mentioned in the comments below, I'm test-blogging with my iPhone. (No, it's not the new one. Not yet, anyway.) I've blogged before from my iPhone but I've forgotten how to do it. Bear with me as I re-learn.

Normal programming to commence shortly.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

IRS May Tax Payments to Gulf Coast Victims

Well, yes they might:
Out-of-work Gulf Coast shrimper Todd Pellegal spent his first $2,500 check from BP quickly, paying off bills and buying groceries for his family.

He never even considered putting some of it away for taxes.

Now he's among the people up and down the Gulf Coast reeling from the oil spill disaster who are surprised — and frustrated — to find out the Internal Revenue Service may take a chunk of the payments BP PLC is providing to help them stay afloat.

Congress will likely step in to remedy this but for now the payments are intended to make up for lost income. If the spill hadn't occurred and the residents were able to earn their living as normal, they'd be taxed; reimbursement for that lost income would be taxable as well.

According to the article though, in previous disasters, Congress has acted to exempt such payments from tax. I see no reason why that won't happen this time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3 - Movie Review

Oh, what's the point of reviewing Toy Story 3 when Lileks has already said everything I want to say:
In the end it’s difficult to describe without spoiling it, which is why I’m not going into more detail. But since everyone talks about misting up at the end – or flat-out sobbing, depending – and yes, it’s a killer. It’s a surprisingly long goodbye that gives each character their due and closes the story with gentle grace. (And they promptly pick you back up and makes you laugh with an extended credit sequence.) For me, though, the most effective episode came earlier, in the final Scene of Great Peril. All of these movies have moments were everything seems lost, when escape seems impossible, when Evil seems about to triumph, and of course TS3 had that scene. Usually the heroes are just about to do something before they’re saved, or they make one desperate last lunge that turns to be the exact right thing to do, and if they have a moment of doubt and fear it lasts one beat, two beat, three – SALVATION!

Not this time. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything, but in retrospect it reminded of “Titanic,” only inasmuch as the emotion in TS3 were absent from the sinking of the ship. Cameron uses emotion to explore the possibilities of computers; Pixar uses computers to explore the possibilities of emotion.

You’ll know what I mean when you see the scene. If you saw, you know, right? The expressions, the hands, the dread, the quick and necessary assumption of acceptance. It’s a Bambi’s-Mom-is-Shot moment but much deeper, and I don’t think there’s anything like it in the Disney canon.

Read the whole thing. But there are a couple of things I need to add:

I'm one to lament long and loud about how Hollywood doesn't make 'em like they used to but TS3 is how they used to make 'em: movies aimed at kids but with adult themes with scenes and dialogue with true, hard-earned emotion wrung out of 'em. I was startled at the sophistication of the movie's themes - when was the last time you saw a movie where the main characters struggled with the purpose of their creation? Strange how this kind of thing has to come from a children's movie.

I'll be sorely glad when this 3D fad is over with. We watched it in 3D and the experience was not at all enhanced; I find the glasses to be a distraction and the theater's policy of not leaving until you checked in your pair is cumbersome.

This movie has already made a ton of money. Will Hollywood learn that making high-quality movies with high-stakes emotions can be profitable? Nope. They haven't yet. Back to the trash-making machine.

Still, Hollywood does manage to spin out a classic every once in a while. This is one of them.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kristin Chenoweth: Pro Adoption

A pro-adoption message from Oklahoman and perky entertainer Kristin Chenoweth:
“I was in shock when I heard that there are 123,000 kids that are in the foster care system in our country. I really want to drive the point home that even if you don’t think that you have tons of money, and all these other ‘things’ to give a child, all a child really needs is love, care and a mentor. Someone to listen to them and to be there,” Chenoweth said. “You don’t have to be a wealthy person – you can be wealthy in your spirit. These kids just want to be loved, and that’s what really touches my heart.”

Chenoweth speaks from experience, and credits two special people for her ongoing success.

“It always goes back to my parents who adopted me, who gave me unconditional love and self-esteem,” Chenoweth said. “I don’t think I’d be where I am without them.”

Ralph Lauren: Canary in the Coal Mine

From TaxProf Blog, designer Ralph Lauren makes his tax move:
Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post all have coverage of Ralph Lauren's plan to sell a quarter of his stake in his publicly traded Polo Ralph Lauren apparel/fashion/retail empire, with proceeds estimated at between $900 million and $1 billion. The press accounts that give a reason chalk it up to asset diversification. But, as one reader-participant-watchdog e-mailed, what the press is missing is the tax angle.

On January 1, 2011, the tax rate on long-term capital gains is scheduled to increase to 20% from 15%. By selling now rather than waiting until later when the taxes are scheduled to increase, Mr. Lauren potentially saves some significant money in taxes. It's hard to say how much money without knowing what his basis is, but the savings certainly may have something to do with Mr. Lauren's decision to diversify his assets now, rather than, say, three years ago, or a year from now. ...

Lauren is among the first of what may be a massive sell off by the end of the year to avoid a 33% tax increase.

Obama supporters, the change you hoped for is coming soon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

When The Rain Comes

Yesterday's commute was certainly different:
Storms dropped about 10 inches of rain on at least one part of Oklahoma City on Monday, flooded neighborhoods, closed some interstates, stranded motorists and left some residents clinging to trees and awaiting rescue.

The training storms also led authorities to declare a state of emergency in 59 of Oklahoma's 77 counties.

Officials reported more than 50 rescues of residents and stranded motorists in the Oklahoma City area. The state Health Department reported nearly 140 injuries, but none that required hospitalization. No deaths were reported.

It was raining when I left for work but I had no clue of what was in store. I-35 was jammed up at the I-240 exchange but it usually is. By then, though, I had an idea of what was in store, so I got off and went over to Eastern Avenue and headed north. It was mostly clear in that direction but at the I-40 exchange, traffic began to back up again. I could feel the bridge swaying over the Canadian River - that's where the last dam is and the gates were open wide and river was blasting through in torrents.

I got onto I-40 with the hopes of traveling north faster on I-35 but it was jammed up there as well for no apparent reason. I managed to get off at 10th street and work my way back West back on to Eastern and traveled north again. No trouble on that route until I reached the Springlake Vo-Tech; a creek had overrun its banks there and the crossing was treacherous. Several cars had stalled out but pickup trucks and SUVs were getting through and I did, too, but not without some heavy duty steering wheel gripping.

I continued on without trouble. At the light at I-44, the Deep Fork Creek was just about up to the bottom of the bridge; it wouldn't take much more before the road would be flooded there. I worked my way up to 63rd and then headed west. The traffic began to back up around the Cowboy Hall of Fame - cars were coming off of I-44 at Kelly and then further up 63rd another creek had spilled over and people were turning back so things were tied up for quite a while. When it was my turn, I had little trouble crossing the creek and after that it was clear the rest of the way into work.

I was the second to arrive and as the day wore on the rest of the crew managed to make it in with their own thrilling tales of travel. The rains let up, the waters receded and by the afternoon it looked like the drive home would be a much different story. More rain was predicted so it was wise to head out early.

I was too busy driving and too stupid to think to take my own pictures but these'll give you an idea of how things were:

Click through the link above for more pictures.

Monday, June 14, 2010

5 Things You Can Do Now to Get Ready for Huge Tax Hikes in 2011

I can't say I disagree with this list from Kelly Phillipps Erb. About the only thing you don't have any control over is dying.

Click through and read the whole thing.

The Karate Kid - Movie Review

I never saw the original - oh, sure, I've seen enough clips and stills to know its iconic scenes and who doesn't know the plot? - so the new version of The Karate Kid wasn't hampered by any comparisons to anything else other than the archetype the plot adheres to. Highly entertaining, the leads - Jaden Smith and the always-wonderful Jackie Chan - are engaging and re-tell the tale of an underdog overcoming impossible odds. Filmed on location, I was reminded of the film in the China pavilion of Epcot - modern China living and thriving alongside ancient China - though you don't get a real sense of how the populace might really live under a Communist regime. The climax is inevitable but because it's still thrilling and suspenseful, it shows how well the filmmakers know their material and craft. Well done.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Our upside down 'mater project is doing poorly. Other than a brown thumb, here's another reason:

Ick. You can be sure I squeaked like a little girl when I saw it.

I plucked him off, carefully avoiding that sharpy pointy thing you can't see because of my bad camera skillz - yes, I wore gloves - and deposited him in the trash can. The circle of life and all.

Time for Wine

I see it's been nearly three months since my last post about wine. About time for another batch isn't it? This time 'round it's a pinot noir:

A notch or three below a cabernet in fullness and flavor, it's still a good, smooth, all-around red. I'm no expert, of course, but I'm surprised at the quality of wine these kits put out. Perfectly suitable for my needs.

(Once again, the picture lacks doesn't quite do the wine justice. )

Next up? Well, nothing really. I'm all set with a pink, a white, and now a red. But I'll be on the look out for my next batch in the coming months.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shrek Forever After - Movie Review

I didn't think another Shrek movie was necessary but the recent success of Shrek Forever After proves there was a Shrek void out there I clearly wasn't aware of. Like every other movie being released, it's in 3D, and I can't say the effect brought anything to the movie. It certainly didn't compensate for the distraction of wearing the goggles. Not to say the movie isn't wonderfully animated. Like the other movies in the series, the animation if imaginative and colorful and helps move the story along - a sort of re-working of the It's a Wonderful Life idea where Shrek gets a chance to see how things might've turned out if things hadn't've turned out as they had.

The usual characters are there doing their usual things and that might be might biggest criticism of the movie. If you liked the characters before, you'll like them again. Essentially a re-tread of what's gone on before, there's nothing new here, just another installment in the series. A nice way to pass the time but not a must-see.

(The best thing about the movie? The preview of Toy Story 3D. I counted three laugh-out-loud moments in the trailer, more than I had in the entire Shrek movie.)

Emily Goes to Work

Summer's not all just laying around and watching TV and texting friends and rattling around on Facebook and MySpace. No, Summer also means a Summer job and Emily's is, like last year, a once-a-week adventure with her cool Dad at the office. We've got plenty she can do and she's just the person to do it.

Yesterday was her first day and I was glad to have her. Sure, I needed her to do the things she did - cleaning out our filing cabinets and making space for the upcoming filing season and generally getting the place looking more like a professional work space - but what I enjoyed most was her company. She's a tireless worker, doesn't complain, and always ready with a quip or two that'll bring a smile to your face. Disarmingly honest, too: when asked if she wants to be an Accountant, she just smiled and said, no.

We took a long lunch with Mom downtown and then she went right back to work. A nice break in the afternoon for birthday cake for Erin; Emily politely declined and stoically endured the talk around the conference table before getting back to it for the final stretch to quitting time.

I remember last year when the summer was over and she no longer came to the office, the day seemed a longer, less bright thing to get through. This year I'm glad she's back.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jaques Cousteau's Famous Ship Calypso Enters Rehab

I was a huge, huge fan of in my youth of Jacques Cousteau so this is very interesting news:

The widow of legendary marine explorer Jacques Cousteau said Tuesday she is trying to relaunch his iconic ship the Calypso — sunk, badly damaged and now in rehab — in time to mark the centennial of his birth.

Aboard the Calypso, Cousteau unlocked the mysteries of the sea for tens of millions of TV viewers in the 1960s and 1970s with his riveting documentary series, "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau."

Francine Cousteau and the Cousteau Society announced a year of events what would have been the 100th birthday of the undersea pioneer, who with his red cap for a time became synonymous with the underwater universe.

The relaunching of the 140-feet ship would be a centerpiece of the centennial, which begins this week. Cousteau was born June 11, 1910, in Saint Andre de Cubzac in southwest France. He died 13 years ago at the age of 87.

"The Calypso is really the Eiffel Tower of the oceans," Francine Cousteau told a news conference. But funding to put it back in the water by May 2011 for a world educational tour is only a hope.

Cousteau did more than anyone to bring the wonders of the undersea world to your living room and democratize the sport of scuba and the art of underwater photography. With cable, we now see more beautiful underwater images than Cousteau managed to bring us but he was the first and lead the way. I thought for a time I'd like to have some kind of career like his until I learned that oceanography and ichthyology was more about lab work and the study of tides and waves than it was about exploration. Still, I was a card carrying member of the Cousteau Society and even way back then they were sounding the alarm of the demise of the seas that would surely come in the next few years. Like most environmentalism, in never happened, but, hey, it's their bread and butter, so they're still doing it, no matter how wrong they've been in the past.

Oh, look, The Cousteau Society's PR machine's running at ramming speed. They manage to tie in Cousteau's centennial and Calypso's restoration with the BP oil spill. Excellent spin!

The launch of the year honoring Cousteau could not have come at better time, as the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has underscored the importance of ocean conservation, the organization said. An early defender of marine life, Cousteau long railed against ocean drilling by the oil industry and instead urged "more direct access to the sun's power."

"We hope that this (oil spill) will be a wake up call to help us change," said Tarik Chekchak, the Cousteau Society's director for science and environment.

Here's the ol' boat in its more glorious day:

Here it is now:

Yep, still some work to do.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tough Talk

Just in time to answer his critics for not being passionate enough about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Obama talks tough:
President Barack Obama says his talks with Gulf fishermen and oil spill experts are not an academic exercise. They're "so I know whose ass to kick."

Goodness me. Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, must be quakin' in his boots.

But not so fast. If Obama really does crack down on BP - whatever that means - he might be putting his chief of staff out on the street:
In case you were tempted to buy the faux Washington outrage at BP and its gulf oil spill in recent days, here's a story that reveals a little-known corporate political connection and the quiet way the inner political circles intersect, protect and care for one another in the nation's capital. And Chicago.

We already knew that BP and its folks were significant contributors to the record $750-million war chest of Barack Obama's 2007-08 campaign.

Now, we learn the details of a connection of Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayoral wannabe, current Obama chief of staff, ex-representative, ex-Clinton money man and ex-Windy City political machine go-fer.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Book Review

Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is getting a lot of well-deserved hype - it's a good read though not without its flaws, and there's an interesting back story about Larsson himself - he died before his "Girl" series of mysteries hit as huge as it has.

But let's leave Larsson's story aside and judge the book on its own merits. Though at heart a mystery, it's also a family history saga, an insider's look at the journalism industry, and a love story all wrapped up in one. Long, too, for a mystery - my rule is if you can't run through these things in 350 pages or so, you're just repeating yourself - but only plodding in a few places. Larsson's sets several wheels in motion from the start and resolves each of the plot lines in a satisfactory manner though the underlying mystery - the disappearance of a girl 40 years ago - is solved in a tired manner. When will we see the end of these serial-killers-as-super-villain stories? None too soon for me.

After that mystery is solved, there's still some 100 pages to go to take care of the rest of the plotlines but Larsson's done his work and makes you care about how things turn out. Much of it is fantasy and wishful thinking but, hey, it's Larsson's book and he can write his plot any way he wants. I just don't have to believe it. As a journalist, Larsson makes his prose trot right along - yeah, I know it's a translation but things move along well for the most part. But though this takes place in Sweden, I never got the sense that I was in a foreign country that the setting was unique to itself, that this story could have only taken place there. Is that because the rest of the world is becoming more like America? I don't know. I like to think some places still have a unique sense of place you can't get from anywhere else but maybe that's wishful thinking on my part.

(There's already a movie with a trailer that, though not entirely dishonest, is rather misleading. Is there an American remake in the works? Of course!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Love for Sale

Actually, you can have it for free.

Almost three weeks ago, Rachel was doing what she thought was a favor for a friend from school when he was looking for a place to board his puppy, Princess, while he and his family went on vacation. We agreed to look her over and see how she reacted with our dogs, Pepper and Lucky. This friend told us Princess was a "toy shepherd," whatever that is, and she seemed to get along fine with our dogs and was playful and puppy-like and small enough and it'd only be a week and so what the heck, we said yes. She wasn't too much trouble, not too much chewing or digging or many accidents in the house since she stayed outside mostly and our dogs put up with her when she was at her most annoyingly playful and seemed to like her when she wasn't.

A week passed. No word from this friend. Rachel tried to text him and call him. No response. Two weeks passed. Still nothing. Well, somebody was bamboozled, weren't they? Rachel finally got a hold of her friend's mother and she said, honey, you can keep that dog. We don't want her.

Well, we can't keep her, we've got two already and Princess is sure to be something a little more than a "toy shepherd" if her big paws and long legs mean anything. I've already put the word out - Erin, at the office, knows of several rescue groups and we'll look for a good place for Princess to go. She'll make someone a nice companion - she's smart and cheerful and easily adapts. And look, how can you resist:

Posted by Picasa

You can't, so why even try?

Interested? Let me know in the comments and we'll get something worked out.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I'm tellin' ya', life's hard here on the south side. Yesterday morning one of our car's alarms suddenly went off. I thought it was one of those in the garage - I'd just tossed my briefcase where I keep both sets of car keys on the kitchen counter and thought that had something to do with it. I fished my keys out, went to the garage to see which one was going, and learned it was neither. Ah, it was Rachel's out in the driveway; my briefcase tossing had nothing to do with anything. Well, her alarm had gotten stuck once at school and likely that's what was going on. I opened the garage door and, sure enough, Rachel's alarm was sounding.

Only one of her back doors was open.


Her car had been broken into.

I stepped outside, saw no one on the street, no cars, no evidence anyone had been near her car - the grass was dewy and you'd think there'd've been footprints or something, huh, Sherlock? Rachel's back windows were rolled down - she likes to ride like that when she's tooling around at night - so it was as easy thing for a thief to reach in, unlock the door, give the interior a quick rummage and snatch away whatever could be snatched.

All this time, the alarm was still sounding so I went back inside to Rachel's room to find her key. The alarm had awakened her and I gave her the news. She checked her purse for her iPod - uh oh, not there - and out we went to check things out. By now the alarm had shut off, much to the relief of the rest of the neighborhood, I'm sure, and Rachel pawed through her stuff and confirmed that, yep, they'd gotten her iPod, her adapter and her phone charger.

Well, shoot. A hard lesson learned. Those things can be replaced and there was no damage to the car so we go off easy. Suspects? Mine would include a member of the roofing crews roving the neighborhood since the hail storms but that's because their the newest element around. Who knows, really? Rachel pointed out it couldn't possibly be "kids." What self-respecting kid would be up at 6:30 in the a.m. on a summer morning? Good point.

Note: Rachel's stolen iPod was my old iPod. She'd had another one stolen or misplaced so when I got my iPhone, she got my old classic black iPod. It's foolish to be sentimental about things but the thief took away a little more than just a musical appliance. He took away the small gesture I was able to make for Rachel. (And he also got what is probably the most eclectic list of music he'll ever come across: Rachel's iTunes range from Taylor Swift to world music to heavy metal to Wicked to Glee and all points in between. I hope he's forever puzzled by what he snatched.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - Movie Review

Gosh, Summer hasn't even begun and it already feels the Summer movie season is losing steam. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time wouldn't've been our first choice but it was just about the only choice in the multiplex - Shrek would've been our other choice but we weren't in a Shrek mood. Not yet, anyway.

Oh, don't get me wrong, Prince of Persia is a lot of fun. Once again, I'm astounded by the imagination that goes into putting the best CGI around up there on the screen. But I found myself longing for something that was real - though the desert scenes are impressive, they can't compare to Lawrence of Arabia when you know that nothing in Lawrence was faked. (Well, almost nothing, I suppose. Hollywood is about nothing if not the art of illusion.) It's a thrilling ride and Jake Gyllenhaal has a career as an action hero if he wants it but he's still too pretty for my tastes. Gemma Arterton is sure purty but I don't remember her in Quantum of Solace and I doubt I'll remember she was in this after a while. A nice surprise: Alfred Molina as a member of a Middle-Eastern Tea Party, so to speak. But it's not top Summer movie stuff - it all seems kind of second rate, as if we're marking time for something better to come along. It'll do until then but it sure seems like it's gonna be a long Summer.