Friday Afternoon Christmas Kitties!

Merry Christmas!

And, of course...

12 Days of Christmas: Die Hard

"Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho."

It's Christmas Eve at the Nakatomi Plaza in L.A. and for New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) it's going to be a long night.

Terrorists lead by Alan Rickman have seized the building and one of the hostages is McClane's estranged wife Holly.

Based on a novel by Roderick Thorp titled Nothing Lasts Forever. The book itself was a sequel to Thorp's earlier novel The Detective which was made into a film starring Frank Sinatra.

John McTiernan directed Predator the year earlier and with this film secured his position as one the best action directors for a brief period. He followed this film up with The Hunt For Red October. It slowly went down hill for him there, Medicine Man, Last Action Hero, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, The 13th Warrior, The Thomas Crown Affair and then the terrible remake Rollerball.

The movie uses Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 throughout the film, terrorists hum it, and it plays through out several big scenes that I won't spoil.

Alan Rickman is brilliant as Hans Gruber, the leader of the terrorists and Bruce Willis is the perfect everyman action hero. He can get hurt (one particularly nasty scene has Willis pulling glass out of his foot) and he can crack wise with the best.

This film is one of my favorites and considered by many to be one of the best action films of all time.

Pick of the Day: Meander

Yeah, Central Library and the Dunlop Art Gallery are closed today. But if you happen to find yourself downtown*, and are in the mood to check out some art, you still can courtesy of this outdoor installation by Laura Hale. It's located in the sunken garden that's visible from the ramp that leads up the RPL's main entrance. With the assistance of students from Connaught Community School, Hale collected a pile of foiliage, leaves, berries and whatnot this fall which, during an early December cold snap, she integrated into a winding river -- or at the very least, creek -- of ice which she created in the garden.

Meander is part of the Dunlop exhibition Mind the Gap! (Dog Blog) which is on at the gallery's Central and Sherwood Village Library locations until Jan. 3. It won't close when the rest of the show does, though, but instead will remain in the garden throughout the winter and into spring. Like the prairie landscape itself, it will be subtly altered by shifts in the weather and the cycle of the seasons. Had Hale installed Meander last winter, it might well have lasted into May. This year, who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us. At the very least, expect Meander to survive into late March.

*I live downtown, so that's no problem for me. If, perchance, I wanted to go somewhere else though, big problem for me. I don't own a car. Cycling is my main mode of transport most of the year, but I don't bike in the winter. Besides, it's minus 37 windchill today. And there's no bus service today or tomorrow. Sunday, there's hourly service of a sort between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. So, short of dropping $30-$40 on a cab ride there and back, looks like I'll be sticking close to home this Xmas.