Various and Sundry (July 2013 Edition)

This post is rather tardier than usual, but in all honesty I’ve hardly felt like I’ve done anything other than work at my job, work on my thesis, and plan my wedding all summer.

On the up side, I’ve been making decent progress on the thesis research.  This has been helped by using my vacation time from work as dedicated thesis time.  Even when I went to visit the fiancee in Philly/New Jersey, I got a good 4.5 days of thesis work in while she had to work during the week.

Oh!  That’s right.  International travel.  That is something, at least.  I finally got to see some of the historic sites around Philadelphia, like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  Look!  There are pictures!

Independence Hall
Independence Hall
Liberty Bell. No licking allowed.
Liberty Bell. No licking allowed.

We then spent some time in New Jersey while the fiancee was at work during the week.  We did pop over to New York City one night.  I have proof!

New York. Probably Times Square, or somewhere near there.
New York. Probably Times Square, or somewhere near there.

We had decided to see a Broadway show, so we looked at what was playing at a time that was convenient (and had good reviews), and so—knowing absolutely  nothing about it—went to see Once.  This turned out to be an excellent—if somewhat low-key—show, but was made all the more exciting because it was starring Arthur Darvill (Rory from Doctor Who!) and the dude could sing!

Possibly even more exciting than that, we also found a Lego Store in the Jersey Gardens Outlet Mall in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  There was so much Lego!  I wanted to roll around naked in it, but that would be both painful and frowned upon.  That outing also saw a visit to White Castle, which was okay, but not as life-alteringly transcendant as I would have hoped.

At the end of that week, we headed up to the Jersey Shore.  We actually didn’t make it to the boardwalk area, so it was really rather nice.  I have proof!

The nice part of the Jersey Shore.
The nice part of the Jersey Shore.

While down in the US I also managed to see Pacific Rim, which was super-enjoyable but not as mind-blowingly awesome as I had been hoping Guillermo del Toro could make a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters.  All the monster-on-robot action was great, but there was just… something missing that kept it from quite rising to the heights of his other movies like Hellboy.  (Pan’s Labyrinth is head and shoulders above even that, which is why I had high hopes.)

We also took in RED 2, which was quite well executed by the charming and awesome cast, but perhaps fell a little short of generating the excitement of the first one simply because it was no longer a novel concept.  As such, it didn’t feel quite as good, though it was certainly not a disappointment.

Okay, so July was actually pretty eventful.  Maybe that is my excuse for being tardy.

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