Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I'm alive! I recently got to watch the cutest damn movie, and I was expecting it to be mediocre--Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.

I was watching it on my laptop at the Flying Saucer, since their wifi was out that day. I had my headphones on and I giggled out loud more than once; also, one line caught me off guard and I nearly snorted into my beer. So when the battery died about fifteen minutes before it was over, I just stopped off on the way home and bought it. Absolutely worth the $14 and luckily, the ending didn't stink. (Wouldn't that have been a bitch.)

All the actors were great, but I also found Kat Dennings pretty damn cute. (Uh, her imdb pics kinda SUCK, though, yikes.) And Michael Cera is the only actor I know who can mumble and get away with it. Also, having linked to his imdb page, I see that he was born in 1988. That is really wrong. That poor bastard can finally buy a drink later this year, he's that young.

Anyhoo, it had a couple weak moments ("clean up the girl"??), but they were few and far between and it more than made up for it. A+, it's not even a guilty pleasure, I freely recommend for cuteness and laughs.

Also, I have to recommend an album I bought. My dad sent me a video, To the Ghosts Who Write History Books, by The Low Anthem. I previewed a few other songs and bought the album, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin. It's a really great album! I think my favorite track is To Ohio (listen!). Also, they have quite a different sound in some of the songs, it's pretty varied! (Hey, Vel, they're playing in Montpelier at the Langdon Street Cafe on April 13th! Argh!)

Nothing really new to report, otherwise. For randomness, I came home one day to find the computer room door closed and a song playing loudly on the other side. It was this song...

(Ooh, look at youtube gettin' all fancy, lettin' you pick borders 'n stuff!) I thought red was appropriate. Though in retrospect, I don't like it. Distracting.

Anyhoo, inside were a ton of red balloons. It seemed like 99, but apparently it was more like 150. D had done it just for randomness and fun. (We were just going to leave them indefinitely, but I did a lot of spring cleaning this past weekend and had to do away with most of them...20 or so oddly remain in the corner of the room.) I should have taken a picture, but I never did!

Speaking of taking pictures, I need to upload pics of the beef beast I bought over the weekend. I got a whole beef brisket from Central Market for a recipe in the new Fine Cooking. It advised to buy flat brisket or the point half, because "that's all you'll find unless you live in Texas barbecue country." GUESS WHERE I LIVE! So I got a whole one, found in the sidecase by the meat counter--11 pounds of GIANT, BLOODY MEAT. You've got to see the pics, this thing had me torn between lust and repulsion.

I suppose there are worse things that could inspire such a reaction, so luckily in this case it was just dinner.

Hmm, I think that's a good place to stop.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm a corporate attorney, what you need is a good divorce lawyer...or a good pharmacist.

I swear I'm still alive. And I have plenty to write about, I'm just falling behind on the job!

In the meantime, enjoy this 80s awesomeness of Golden Earring's Twilight Zone. I see absolutely no reason why they can't make videos like this anymore. Hell, do they really still MAKE music videos? And does anyone seriously show them anymore?

Monday, March 23, 2009

I believe it's customary to ask after the health of someone recently plugged three times.

This one's going out to Vel, assuming she's still in a Bruce Springsteen frame of mind!

(And fyi, it's rare to see Jon Stewart get all giggly and nervous over an interview...and this is one of 'em. This is like the way the interview might go if I got to talk to Paul Simon (actually JS is far more articulate), but still, it's almost embarrassing. In a good way.)

The interview...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Bruce Springsteen - Interview
Daily Show Full EpisodesImportant Things w/ Demetri MartinPolitical Humor

The new song...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream
Daily Show Full EpisodesImportant Things w/ Demetri MartinPolitical Humor

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm sorry for that Knots Landing moment.

You know, I haven't watched South Park in ages, but I've got it on while I'm catching up on writing my articles. And this episode mocking the Jonas Brothers and purity rings is totally fabulous. Complete with Mickey Mouse beating up the brothers while swearing up a storm and forcing them to keep wearing the rings. Nice. I barely know who they are, but I'm still relishing it.

I have to admit I watched a film the other day...it's a little embarrassing. And then explaining why I watched it makes it even worse.

Okay, fine, I watched I Love You, Man.

The reviews seemed positive for what it is, and finding a genuinely funny stupid movie is nearly as difficult as finding a genuinely scary horror movie. And I went out on that limb to go watch it because I had just rented and watched Role Models. Throw in Paul Rudd on The Daily Show this past week, and well, there I was at the theatre.

For the record, Role Models is shockingly funny. (Mom, do not watch it. You might disown me.) I'm just saying, after a really tedious day, and maybe at least one beer, I laughed. The two guys make a great pair--Paul Rudd is always wonderfully dry and deadpan, and Seann William Scott is obnoxious without being loathsome. It was painfully paint-by-numbers on the plot front, but who the hell is expecting a surprisingly original plot? Anyway, if anyone's looking for a little stupid, I absolutely recommend Role Models. (Oh sigh, I really just said that out loud. Truly I am without shame.)

But this new stupid movie? Meh. Totally mediocre. And I enjoyed Jason Segel in Freaks & Geeks, I really did. I wasn't wild about him here, and he wasn't a good counter to Paul Rudd--they were a little too similar for any great comedic effect. I chuckled once or twice, but ultimately I still liked it just because I really enjoyed the point it was trying to make. It wears thin on the jokes and the pace kinda plods, but at least it kinda had something refreshing to say. Total rental, fwiw.

Don't worry. When we go out, you can act like you don't know me.

Also, I am not addicted to crack. Cause I know what you're thinking: what the FUCK? You watched I Love You, Man, when there was a BRAND NEW Clive Owen movie? With a little guilty Julia Roberts fun to round it out? Are you feeling okay?! I really do want to see Duplicity, and I would defend my choice by saying I felt it looked recycled (that trailer, Jesus, LOVE ME, I AM EDGY LIKE OCEAN'S ELEVEN BUT EVEN HIPPER AND TWISTIER WITH A CREAMY CHOCOLATE CENTER), but that's hardly a valid defense in this case. I admit it, I just like to keep even myself guessing.

To kick it up a notch, I came home and made butterscotch crunch ice cream. It tasted a lot like my favorite Ben & Jerry's heath crunch number...it made my weekend, no doubt. I'm just wild like that, get used to it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Isn't it possible to be a sober person without having to be a good person?

This totally made me giggle.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chopper was my first lesson in the vast difference between myth and reality.

Alex recently sent me an article about comfort movies and while I have a list on my sidebar of my top 100, the idea of scaling it down to 10 is borderline impossible. It really depends on my mood, you know? But I tried.

Also, I had 5 honorable mentions but my dad is right, that's totally cheating. ;) So here it is, in alphabetical order. (And I feel totally unoriginal now, btw!)

All About Eve


Bridget Jones' Diary


Kicking and Screaming

L.A. Confidential

Party Girl

Stand By Me

Streets of Fire

When Harry Met Sally

For the record, my dad's were

Nobody's Fool
That Thing You Do!
Oliver's Travels
My Night at Maud's
Babette's Feast
Miracle on 34th Street
My Dinner with Andre
The World of Henry Orient

And Alex's were:

Strange Days
Blade Runner
Beautiful Creatures (2000)
Chungking Express
Into the Night
Lethal Weapon
The Lost Boys
Subway (1985)
The Thin Man

And Veloute's were:

Wrath of Khan
Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
Miracle on 34th St
Lord of the Rings
Firefly (I tried to leave this out b/c it's a TV series, but I see Oliver's Travels, so I feel justified!)
The Matrix
Watership Down
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

(She wasn't sure about the 10th spot, but Priscilla seemed to be winning.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm pretty good friends with the school nurse...she's a divorcee.

I went to the neatest garden today! It's about an hour west of my house, in Weatherford, called Clark Gardens.

The best part was that while it was chilly and cloudy while I was driving, by the time I got there the sun was out and it was fairly warm.

Dwarf Flowering Almond...

There are lots of places like this for sitting and reading...

And there are at least two huge decks...

...with little kitchen areas!

This one was on the other side of the park, but its lake had about 30 or so ducks.

There were lots of halls like this, many of which weren't green yet. Their Spring Festival thing is the first weekend in April, and knowing Texas weather, it should be fully green by then!

The place is HUGE. I'm sure I may have missed at least some of it. This was especially pretty...

The downside is that every time I go now, I'm going to want it to be like it was today: deserted. I think I saw maybe 10 people? I have a feeling it is rarely that way.

Also, a little odd bonus to the gardens: they have this area called Clark Station for miniature trains. Just on the other side of the rainbow...thing.

And they're really cool! They are, as my friend Nella might say, "cute as fuckin' buttons." I saw at least three; this one has a little red caboose (just for you, mom)...

But the little coal train was my absolute favorite. So cute.

So I highly recommend going! I was there for nearly two hours and I didn't even have food or books!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I started fooling around...then I started screwing around...which is fooling around without dinner.

Many thanks to Alex for recommending these yummy pretzels from Smitten Kitchen. I did just make the big ones (they're not even that big)--they were so easy and delicious! Smitten Kitchen was recently mentioned in an article my dad sent about the 50 best food blogs, and that article is really worth a look...

But my pretzels are brought to you by my NEW CANON REBEL XS! So there was just drooling all around. My kitchen is usually not picture-friendly since the lighting sucks, but this camera (lens) has a built-in stabilizer, which I previously only had on my 300mm lens.

The dough begins...

And rises for an hour...

After rolling em out and twisting, you poach the little suckers...

And they rise a little more...

Cooking time! (The shadow makes it appear as though they are drastically uneven but this was not the case!)


For dipping we used wasabi mustard, honey nut cream cheese and queso. This was possibly not the best thing to make if you're starting a diet that weekend, but oh well. Isn't that what "tomorrow" is for?

And while I was waiting for the dough to rise, I wandered into the next room to see if the fire needed more poking...and was happy to see someone enjoying it...

So I had to bother him, naturally.

And then someone got jealous and threw himself down for equal love.

And then they just hung out here, nice and sloth-like, for the remainder of the evening.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Don't you destroy enough dough on your own show?

For anyone who has been following the Jon Stewart/CNBC clusterfuck, tonight was The Big Night when he had Jim Cramer on his show.

Cramer could not have been any more acquiescing from the get-go (I heard that just before going on, someone pulled him aside and said, "You know what happened to Crossfire, right?"), and yet Jon Stewart totally went to town on his ass. (Yet he was very cool about it, there was no assholery or douchebaggery for miles.) He fully admitted that Cramer was not his intended target and that it was a shame for him to have to be the face of this debate, but it never stopped Stewart from asking question after question, calling him on all of it.

The entire show was the interview, and it still didn't all air. Apparently if you go to the website, you can see the whole thing.

I totally heart Jon Stewart.

**UPDATE**: My dad sent me this article, which has all the links for the full interview.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Everybody does it in America!

I love the randomness of the internet. And not just the fact that everyone comes here looking for "penis piercing," "penis snake," and "man with double penis." (I have no idea why that brings them here...they must be getting to page 18 on the Google and then clicking? So now I'm just doing my part to bump myself up by mentioning it ALL IN ONE POST.) But anyhoo, I was checking my stats on the site where I post film reviews, and my whole week is the usual low-numbered hits...except for Monday. Monday had an insane amount of hits.

This time last year, I had about a 6,000% increase in hits when imdb linked to my Ten Best St. Patrick's Day films. This time? Not only did no one link to anything, of all things, it's for Horror Express and nearly all of them found that article by google searching "cushing lee horror film." Did I miss something? Is there a giant film class out there researching this topic? Why did everyone and their dog suddenly, randomly search for this? Seriously, like 500 people looked at it yesterday. So weird.

But whatever racks the pennies up is okay by me.

Monday, March 09, 2009

You know, even though we've watched Pretty Woman like, 36 times, I never get tired of making fun of it.

When most women get depressed, I assume they go look at pictures of puppies and kittens to make them laugh. And I certainly enjoy the occasional glance at Cute Overload, sure.

But when I'm feeling down? I head over to Garfield Minus Garfield...as you can readily tell, the concept is to remove Garfield from the entire strip. It is the most depressing thing ever but I cannot stop laughing my ass off.

Mix in a little alcohol and it's pure joy.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

How can you tell a Frenchman's been in your backyard? Your trashcans are empty and your dog's pregnant.

Speaking of movies that continue to be classics that I can quote line by line, we've now moved on to Stand By Me. It never gets old and it never fails to make me laugh.

I wish I had more pull in the world, I would totally bring "boss" back. Ok, maybe not.

We were just discussing the rating (it's R...presumably mostly for language...the leech scene might not have helped) and how unusual it is that it basically stars a bunch of kids (aging from about 12 to 15), yet it's a fairly hard R. I actually really wish more movies were like that these days, but it's rarely the case. So many movies are dumbed down, lame, tame and generally witless. It's hard to think of a comparable film with realistic dialogue for kids this age, but I could be overlooking something I suppose? Mmm, oh yes, She's All That, absolutely.

Some of my favorite trivia bits from imdb...

While practicing his lines, Jerry O'Connell was incredibly impressed that, as an 11-year old, he was being allowed to swear.

When they were filming the scene where Gordie and Vern are about to be run over by the train, Wil Wheaton and Jerry O' Connell did not look scared enough; in frustration Rob Reiner yelled at them to the point where they started crying and that's when they were able to film the scene.

The pond the boys fall into was a man made pool because the crew wanted them to be "safe and secure" and didn't want to put them a real pond because they didn't know what was in it. But Corey Feldman stated in a interview the joke of the whole thing was they built and filled it with water in June and by time they got to film the scene it was in August. So it been out in the woods for 3 months and they didn't know what was in it anyway.

Great ending, can't wait to see Wesley Crusher take on Jack Bauer, kwim? ;)

I love robbing the English, they're so polite.

My copy of A Fish Called Wanda is just not the best quality, it's sad. Is there a remastered one out there? And I have no special features, just some crappy trailer. I'm really not all that into special features, but this is one of those movies where I absolutely would be.

The audio mix is really crap on this DVD, too. Grr. And it's such a great movie. In case you can't guess, I'm watching it right now...it's been too long. (Not that I can't still quote it verbatim, mind you.)

It does strike me how much harder it gets to make movies like this (caper-esque, but it's so much better than that) as times change and technology gets better...you know, so much easier to prove/disprove various things...but the whole point of a movie like this is fun.

And nostalgia may have me biased but I still don't find it even minutely dated...must be the charismatic acting on everyone's part. Still nothing but great chemistry, witty dialogue, more than enough story going on with fabulous editing and soundtrack both. Very much a classic.

Get ready to become the main character in the story of the worst day of someone's life.

So I learned a fun lesson the other day. The key to my car (and so many these days) is one of those keyless entry numbers where, although there is indeed a key on it, most of it is buttons--arming/disarming, popping the trunk, etc. Well, did you know that you should not dunk your keys in your margarita and expect it to keep working?

D and I stopped off at Gloria's after work and for whatever reason, I decided to move my keys from one spot to another and well, I dropped them right in my drink along the way. And no, when this happened, I had only consumed one. It spent mere seconds in the sugary concoction, yet it would seem sugar, alcohol and electronics just do not mesh. It even spent the night opened up to dry out.

So now I have to lock my car the hard way (oh the humanity). I called VW to ask about replacing it. Wow. So it would be $65 to replace the part, not the end of the world, really. Aha, but then it's another $85-100 to reprogram it. Nice. I said thank you, I think I'll continue to just stick the key in the door to lock it.

So let's all remember: keys are not for margarita dunking.

Other than that, I've kept busy with a little reading. I read one of my dad's recommendations, The Likeness by Tana French. It has a borderline-ridiculous premise and yet it's really well written and pulls it off.

I didn't realize it was a follow-up to a previous detective novel, but it really doesn't matter in order to read this one.

And in an apparently drastic change, I'm now reading Daniel Pinchbeck's disturbingly interesting 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (thanks for the article, dad!). Oh my. I'm not that far into it, and it's far more intriguing than I expected it. I was ready for it to be woo-woo crazy and unintentionally funny. But so far it's really descriptive of other cultures' takes on the passage of time (not really addressing the End of the World just yet), all heavily peppered (almost saturated, really) with Pinchbeck's psychedelic experimentations.

Honey, I want to go through a Bwiti tribe initiation and take iboga. Maybe next year. (Just kidding, mom.)

Either way, I really recommend both. The former for the gripping story, the latter for being...well, interesting just doesn't cut it, let's put it that way.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

During the conversation, an awkward moment occurred.

I know, I suck for letting more than a week go by. I have no idea what the hell I was doing with my time, either.

I finally caught up on movies and TV this weekend. Watched an ungodly amount of 24, so now I can pick up with the new eps Tivo saved for me.

Sunday was mostly movies...I finally watched Frozen River.

Melissa Leo was up for an Oscar. Um. Great performance but I really cannot recall the last movie I saw that was quite this depressing. To be fair, I haven't watched The Changeling yet, so we'll see what it brings.

Also watched The Visitor, whose Richard Jenkins was also up for an Academy Award. Now while it may not have been wholly upbeat, it was still really great. Great music (which was a large part of the plot), great story, I absolutely recommend that one.

It really got me thinking, actually, about movies where music not only features prominently in the film but is almost as amazing as the story itself. No biopics or musicals, but things like The Commitments, Once, Bandits (German), etc. Does anyone have any favorites?

I also polished off the last half of The Starter Wife--it was a miniseries but now it's a regular series, I think?--which was decent. It has some really awkward writing but also some really great lines. It was interesting enough and I was more than happy to watch.

On the other hand, we had Ghost Town. Everyone said it was tripe but that Ricky Gervais transcended the material and made it worth watching. Now you know I love me some Ricky Gervais; infact, he was just on The Daily Show and that was great. But the movie was tedious at best. Thank god I was working on some scans and was distracted--and I still found it awful. PASS.

Very little else to mention. I have some great stuff I've been reading that I'll have to get to later...I also need to polish off Watchmen since it comes out in just a couple of days!

Oh, PAUSE, wait, she still has it! I'm in the corner at the Flying Saucer cause they have an outlet over here it only took me eight years to find, and this dude comes over and asks, "Do you come here often to work on writing with a skirt and pumps?" gesturing to my computer. The way he asked it lead me to believe he was trying to pin me down, like he thought he knew me, but it became apparent he was just making awkward conversation.

Even weirder, he looked WAY too much like my brother-in-law. So wrong. And one side of my nose is stuffed all to hell, my hair is raked back in a greasy ponytail and I could not look any less inviting. I was as polite as humanly possible while he puttered on about weird things coming out of his mouth and how cute I was from the waist up (but then the skirt and pumps apparently made it more...you know, I kinda tuned out, this man really was one of the more awkward ones I've ever run across), but I really just wanted him to go away and he finally did.

On the one hand, I get irritated and think how this never happened when I was single, but on the other, even if I was single, none of these people have ever made me want to sit down and have an actual drink with them.