Sunday, May 31, 2009

I like a fresh bowl. Remnants upset me.

I forgot all about my aquarium pics!

So the seals are just outside the entrance and it's easy to sit there for quite some time. However, the penguin feedings were just beginning, so we finally went inside.

In the center of the aquarium is a giant circular ocean tank with a spiraling walkway to the top.

There seemed to be about 3-4 of these guys, but they hid when the divers started feeding time! Shy!

The people in the background are a little dark, but it gives you an idea of how large the tank is.

The jellies are a special exhibit. Also, very hard to snap pics.


It's a little tricky to see here, but there are two guys. I think they normally blend in a little better than they're doing here.

That's a brown bottle he's sucking on.

While walking up to Haymarket to return to Little Italy, we stumbled upon the Holocaust exhibit. I'd seen it before in 1998 when I went with Veloute and Annie. It's still impressive; prisoners' numbers are etched on the glass, very small, since there are so many.

And we passed this twice during our trip, it was just weird.

I'm sure there IS a playground somewhere, it just looked misplaced. Even better was what seemed to be a drug transaction going on.

I'm sure it wasn't...*cough*

You want to bankrupt somebody? Cost him everything he's worked for? Make his wife leave him, even make his kids cry? Yeah, we can do that.

I admit it. I love drunk men.

So I went to see a local DFW band tonight here in Austin. Know what I LOVE LOVE LOVE about Austin? NO ONE BOTHERS YOU. And don't misunderstand, I really do applaud any man who has the balls to address a totally strange female in the hopes of...well, whatever it is he's after. But that happens frequently in DFW, whereas in Austin, it rarely seems to happen. So I am far more ready to hit the town a lobo solo here in Austin than I am back home.

And all was good. Til it got close to 2am.

First of all, I absolutely had the rapt entertainment of the bouncers and staff at this particular bar. One came up to me at the end and said, "That was a first." I guess not too many single, sober people show up to enjoy a show and read in-between.

(For the record, a couple people did come up to me and ask how I was able to read amidst all the din. "Drugs," I said. I was a total WIN all night.)

I had had two screwdrivers and closing was a half-hour away, though my waitress had completely disappeared. So I pulled a Renee Raddick and motioned with my finger to this douche who had been chatting me up the latter part of the night, to come here.

He trotted over, pulling cash out of his wallet for his friend nearby, as if he'd had a bet with someone as to whether or not I'd cave. Who knows. All I know is this motherfucker was WASTED and the friend tossed me the $20. I had originally said, "If you buy me a screwdriver, I'll answer three questions for you." (I didn't want to lose my seat, but I wanted one last drink.) There was a lot of bumbling between the two of them (and drunkenness), and they soon went away, apparently unable to comprehend what I'd said. I was thrilled.

Now, I was raised properly. To the point where I should have tracked that poor idiot down and given him his bill back. However. I pocketed Mr. Andrew Jackson, sauntered up to the bar and got my own darn screwdriver (without losing my seat). That, my friends, is called ASSHOLE TAX.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


First of all, I'm in Austin! WHEE! So the condo I'm staying in is AWESOME. I actually DO know the area a tad--it's off 2222, which is the GORGEOUS highway you take to get to Mount Bonnell and County Line (the former is more essential, the latter for beer'n'bbq on the lake--om nom nom!)

But it's aaaaaaaaaall the way in the back of the complex and then in the back of its building, so the back balcony has a great view of swaying trees/bamboo. Sold! And the entry way is strewn with potted plants--they even line the staircase to the upstairs residence. There is even a mouthy white cat. And no, mom, I did not pet him. (*cough*...*averts eyes*)

Anyhoo, I was at least mildly responsible in completing my financial aid entrance counseling while still on my first beer. They had little questions you had to answer like a quiz, geez...

Completely unrelated, my dad sent me this link about the 2009 Cannes screenings--brief and interesting reviews, all contained in one page. Win. I do want to see Up! as soon as possible! I'm sure that will beat Drag Me to Hell at the box since they both open this weekend (are you kidding?), but I am still happily impressed with the latter.

Within those reviews, I was intrigued by the Inglorious Basterds review, though not surprised. I am looking forward to it, yet I fully expect to be disappointed for some reason. I love Tarantino, but he does often let me down. And I still haven't seen the original, argh! Wait...ok, there. Moved it towards the top of the queue. (Not the VERY top, since Weeds season 4 comes out this week. Priorities, dude.) I have a feeling the original is SLIGHTLY different, call me crazy.

Also, I would high-five this writer based strictly on his review of Lars Von Trier's Antichrist. I adore the sentiment of loathing it but being delighted at having been there to see it. He's of those filmmakers...I have a hard time knowing just what I think of the man. I think he may be a TOTAL ASSHOLE...yet I'm drawn to his films. (And I didn't even know about The Boss Of It All, added to queue and bumped near top.)

I was also a little sad to read the new Almodóvar film Broken Embraces seems to be a bit of a loss, but to be fair, I really did not enjoy (contrary to popular opinion??) Volver. Penélope Cruz did a very nice job, but it was nowhere near enough to make the film worth it. For me, old Almodóvar is where it's at.

Ok, time to order my Mangia pizza!

Here, kitty, kitty.

Last night we saw the new Sam Raimi, Drag Me to Hell.

It was SO. MUCH. FUN.

I absolutely have to recommend seeing it in a theatre, preferably one with KICK-ASS sound. I always advocate kick-ass sound, but here it has the added benefit of drowning out the type of crowd that will be watching it with you.

I am for and against the crowd in this film. Right off, I knew I had to talk myself out of expecting a respectful audience. To be fair, it's an incredibly over-the-top gory suspense fest, so it's not like one needs to concentrate or discern intricate plot details. However, I just like to enjoy the movie, kwim?

This crowd was one-third teenagers, one-third people my age and one-third a bunch of white-trash ghetto morons who talk at the whole film (though not too much to need killing). And also, this is where the great sound is essential. I honestly barely heard them. And despite a constant hum of mutterings and titterings from the crowd, well, after Christine came home from getting her fortune told and she's alone in the house? Yeah, that theater? You could hear a mouse fart.

I thought it was a testimonial to great editing.

Also, seeing it in the theater really sucks you into both the tension and the story, plus it is fun with the weekend crowd. I went in not knowing a single damn thing other than it was penned (along with his brother Ivan) and directed by Raimi, and it was a really pleasant surprise. It was goofy gore in true Raimi style, with great laughs and amazing suspense. (And Alison Lohman is pretty perfect, too, she gets it just right.)

And apparently, since Bruce Campbell's schedule was tied up with Burn Notice, he does not appear at all in the film. I admit I wondered where he was, even though I don't really care about the Raimi Details in his films (kinda hard not to spot the car, though...)

In any case, it was damn fun and I recommend it--that is, if it even sounds like your cup of tea to begin with. If not, well, 90 minutes might feel kinda long...

Ok, now it's off to Austin by myself for the weekend! Mostly, I'm going to work on my articles and hopefully finally get around to my financial aid entrance counseling (gee, don't know why I've been putting that off). I've got the keys to my realtor's condo (aka, the Very Awesome Sam) in way North Austin (new territory for me). Just want to get on the road before the sun gets lethal...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Maybe her gynecologist pulled the wrong tooth.

So I have had it for six years, but my Vermont battery finally died yesterday. My wonderful husband was already on his way to meet me for lunch, so he picked me up for lunch, then he jumped my battery and we drove to AutoZone where he bought me a new one and made it work again. Did you know a goddamn battery (with tax) is A HUNDRED DOLLARS?? Have they really gone up that much?? The hell happened to fifty or sixty??

And the AutoZone guy says it's more than Freon wrong with my A/C. It does sort of...make a noise when I turn it on full-blast. He thinks maybe the compressor. I'm pretty sure that's the part that runs about $1500. Goddamn you, Hans, it's like you KNOW I just need you til July-August. You are making me suffer because you know. I thought we had something, damn you!!

So I'm hitting Austin this weekend while I can still stand the drive in the heat. Stupid car. At least I don't need to spend money on the A/C. He could really stick it to me if he wanted. And he just might, so stay tuned! (No pun intended...)

Not much else. People look at my house. People go, "Eh, no."

I finally bought Ally McBeal on ebay. That's right, I'm owning my shame. I BOUGHT ALLY MCBEAL.

Even more disturbing is the realization that Richard Fish might be my favorite character. Well, except now it's season 2 and Lucy Liu has joined up...she obviously rocks more.

There is a bootleg region 1 that occasionally pops up, but I bought a legitimate set, Region 2 (yes, on purpose). For one thing, my next DVD player is going to be multi-region. You can break the region code on your player (most, naturally not on mine), but it didn't really work on D's. So I'm watching it on my computer. You can switch regions on your computer five times before it's set for good (I'm sure there's a way to override this as well). But so far, it's still really enjoyable. So there.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Do you know how popular I am? I am so popular. Everybody loves me so much at this school.

My friend C at work was just telling me how much she enjoys Ryan Reynolds, and I admit I certainly do, too. But I'm not the one who said:

"I would drink that man's bath water."


Thursday, May 21, 2009

We're exterminators. Someone saw a cockroach up on twelve.

Home again home again! Got home Tuesday...the nice thing about flying back to Texas is gaining that hour back. Even though they canceled our first flight and moved it UP by half an hour (which would normally be ok if it weren't the ungodly AM hours), we still made it.

The day before, we got to tour my school, have some amazing sea food, hit the aquarium and walk back up to Little Italy.

This is the open area of a park entrance across from my school...the park is probably okay, but the fountain (off to the left, not quite in the shot) seems to attract crazies--the Bible spouting kind and the mumbling homeless kind. Good times.

Here is the school itself...guess I'll be seeing a bit more of it soon. The tour was helpful, but I'll probably still forget where crap is. At least it's not as windy and twisty as Cornell! I would have never found daylight again in that place.

Anyhoo. Then it was off to lunch, which was directly across from the aquarium. This place seems to be a fairly prominent chain in the region, but it's not cheap. My mom and I both had this crab meat roll that's about $15 and sooooooooo worth it. It was bursting at the sides with crab, the way delis normally pile on the meat and cheese. Damn it was good. I'll be back for that for a treat sometime!

It's really pleasant just to walk along the wharfs and even though it was a little chillier that day, it didn't bother me at all.

Here is the New England Aquarium...the Whale Watching booth is easily found as well (and will be re-visited in July or August when I convince my mom to come visit before school)! They have sunset trips for about a month that time of year, reservations strongly recommended...

Just as you walk toward the entrance to the aquarium, this guy greets you. (And some of his friends.)

I have more pics from inside the aquarium, but it's time to get ready for work. Grumble. Stupid work.

Monday, May 18, 2009

You're cute, in a slutty way.

Yesterday started off pretty rainy, but Dunkin Donuts is VERY well represented here in Boston, so that made up for rain. We then took the train down to Quincy, just barely south of Boston, to see my apartment. I am so excited that I only need one train to go between work and school. Now if only it ran all night!

The apartment is great. There is a huge grocery store nearby, a short walk, or I can take the train two stops North and hit a giant Shaw's. I took pics of the wonderful various beers--as for Boston, there is an absolute LACK of beer and wine sold in stores, it's proving to be something of a bitch.

This clearly falls into the So-Wrong-It's-Right category.

There was also a little pub nearby called 99 (don't ask) which struck me as the sort of place I will probably frequent on occasion against my better judgment. Very unspecial. (We also found the waitress with the smallest personality on Earth.)

The people at the apartment were really friendly and it seems like a great place to live. I didn't get to see my exact unit or the view from the 8th floor, but we saw a similar floor plan. The balconies are really great and I am looking forward to seeing the Boston skyline at night. There's a huge field of (mud at the moment) what appears to be abandoned will look good covered in snow at any rate.

We took the train back into town to hit Faneuil Hall, a pretty touristy thing to do, but you know, a newby has to do the touristy things, too! (It used to be a marketplace but now it's sort of an open-air mall/market/foodie thing.)

So the original Bull & Finch is still around, but memory was telling me the bar looks nothing like the set of Cheers, it was merely the inspiration for the show (and exterior shots, apparently). I read up on it and this is true, but apparently everyone wanted a bar built that did look like the show. At Faneuil Hall, there is one that is modeled after the show. Heavy emphasis on modeled.

The look on Norm's face says more than words ever could.

It's quite small, and two things really bothered me. First of all, there's no attention to detail. You couldn't even slide a beer down the length of the bar like you (well, the bartender) should be able to do. (See that middle column?)

Also, it was full of windows with a ton of sunshine pouring in. It should be in a basement! Also, there were creepy cardboard cut-outs of all the cast members--a very creepy Kelsey Grammar waits at the bottom of the stairs to the restrooms. And Shelley Long got stuck outside the Ladies. Ouch.

It's nice that it exists, I just wish a little more effort had been made and a little less exploitation (I noted Cheers' Bloody Mary mix stuck up on the shelves, like just slapping the label on there makes it good).

On the other hand, we had some really cool Wachusetts Blueberry Beer! The bartender drops a few blueberries in for presentation and ta da! It's very cool because they sink and then lift again, it's the lava lamp of beers. Highly recommend.

We wandered around and found my law school for today and then finished up with noodles at Wagamama.

This place I will certainly hit again--it's all about the #72, Yasai Katsu Curry. Damn fine stuff.

Today I have a tour of my law school and we're planning to hit the aquarium. I think whale watching will have to wait for summer, since the times aren't working with us today. Also, it's a little on the CHILLY side! On the plus side, in later summer on weekends there are sunset trips! Sold!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ling went to law school? Ling is a LAWYER?

Hello Boston!

Despite a flight that was somewhat delayed, we finally made it to Logan around 6:30pm. We checked into the Midtown Hotel (pics in a bit) and headed off to the North End for Little Italy.

My Fodor book recommended a place called Antico Forno, and like most good places in Little Italy on a Saturday night, it was crowded and noisy, but in a good way. We ate at the bar since we got the corner spot and it was really delicious.

Mom had the rigatoni salsiccia e riccota...

and I had gnocchi di patate...

It was so much food, I wish we could have taken the leftovers! And of course, we had a homemade cannoli to wrap things up!

It was a little late once we finished, so most things were closed and we took the train back to the hotel. We when first left the hotel, the friendliest station attendant wandered over to us to explain how to buy a Charlie Card instead of the single ride tickets, since it would be cheaper and easier, and he also explained how the train lines were different from New York's. (I'm really glad, actually, since it might have taken me a bit.) So we made it home with ease and wandered around the area.

Our hotel, unknown to me when I booked it, is owned by the Christian Science Church (or First Church of Christ Scientist, whatever it's called) and they have some enormous churches around here. The various buildings look really cool at night...

Also, there was a really sweet reflecting pool that looks like it would be really fun to wade in. (Naturally, it's fully decked out in signs asking you to refrain from doing precisely that.)

Yeah, this huge cool building? It's for SUNDAY SCHOOL. See the little artwork in the windows?

We came back to our little hotel...

...and this morning has been rainy and cloudy with a bit of a bitchy wind. Hopefully that will go away, but we're about to head down to Quincy to see the apartment, so as long as the rain is gone by this afternoon!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Oh! The poor turkey fell down!

I weep for the day when I have public transportation again.

I am currently in downtown Fort Worth waiting for Friday rush hour to mellow out a little since my little Jetta Hans decided to contribute to my weight-loss program by no longer offering me air conditioning.

Sweat it out, sucker, and it's only May.

Fuck you, Hans.

There are few things more expensive to fix, and HE KNOOOOOOWS I only have about two more months left. I will take it in, just in case, though seeing as I just had my fluids filled (that almost sounds like a pervy Frantics skit), I'm betting it's pricey and involved.

So I stopped off for a little snack and one beer. I even thought I'd splurge a little since it's Friday--I said I didn't want the Fire Sale beer, I wanted something in a wicked glass. (Seriously, they have markings next to the beers that come in their own special glasses...I blame this, too, on being raised to adore the "sparkly" in daily life). So she brought me her favorite beer because I only wanted one and it comes in a snifter. I would tell you what kind of beer it is, but I am not good at discerning things audibly. Will this matter in law school?

I am such a girl, ordering a beer for the glass. But I wanted to nurse it long enough for traffic to go away.

I had SO MUCH FUN at Odis last night. It was very relaxed, just hanging out on the patio of Central Market with pizza and wine, watching a couple local bands. I don't know what it is about Odis--they are so much better live than when just listening to their CD...don't get me wrong, the CD's great, it just doesn't capture the raw, energetic danceness you hear from them live. Listening to the CD, I tend to start thinking about other bands with a similar sound, but live they sound only like themselves and are very captivating--a rare thing for sure.

And the chocolate chocolate chip gelato was a bonus, but I had a great time regardless.

And since I'm hoping to hit Austin 2-3 times before moving, I'm going to try to coordinate those plans with at least one Odis performance at some of my old Austin place better than Austin to boogie with beer to music that could be on a Robert Rodriguez soundtrack!

Anyhoo, tomorrow: BOSTON!! Soooooo excited to have a flight that does NOT take off before 8am in the #$^%& AM. I don't think I've ever started a trip so late in the day, it's wild. 10am has been my latest departure flight in recent years, and that was my oft-traveled flight home to Tokyo...

Here's hoping traffic's nearly tolerable now!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm the guy who does his job. You must be the other guy.

So Katy Perry was fabulous Monday night. Saying there were too many damn people is putting it mildly. But it was still fun even when all the seats around me (including mine) ended up being double-sold (due to a rescheduling of the show, no doubt). Luckily, I got there first and it never mattered.

The video I posted a couple days ago was really more for showing off costumes and production, but I couldn't help but notice it seemed more than a little off-key. This is the song she's most known for (I'm sure they play it endlessly on the radio, or did, but luckily I never listen to the radio). Again, not crazy about the video, really, but at least she's in tune this time.

The next night I went to Scat Jazz Lounge to see Ricki Derek and His Big Band, which was a rockin' good time. It was a fifteen-piece band, mostly horns with a piano and stand-up bass. Ricki Derek himself does a nice mix of tongue-in-cheek and over-the-top, complete with a full suit and lots of personality. They all clearly love playing together and joking around and it makes for a great evening.

I just loathe the drunk people who try to make themselves part of the banter. Buckets of fail, you must die. Not to mention half the people who go to jazz shows around this town have "poser" tattooed all over their faces. Sigh.

Moron #1: "Do you take requests?"

RD: "There's 15 people up here, how can we take requests?"

But it was a really great show and I'm glad we went.

Tonight the cafe at Central Market has two bands playing, one of whom I saw at the Main Street Arts Fest. It's an indie rock group of four guys called Odis and they're a lot of fun live. Not to mention the chore of drinking and snacking at Central Market, I suppose I can manage. Plus it's early, a 6-9 type deal, so that's great for me since I've been running around all week.

Tomorrow night is reserved for Project Runway Season 4, Disc 4 which Netfux FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY decided I could have. Seriously, the seasons changed while I've been waiting for this fucking disk. My instinct is to sit on it childishly for months now that I have it.

And then it's off to Boston for four days! Wheee!! Something tells me I was wrong to pack my warm clothes already. Whoops.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm gonna be the syrup, she can be my waffle.

Another gem from Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake on Saturday Night Live: Mother Lover. NSFW is a major understatement.

(The beginning is a Dick in a Box joke, if you never saw that one...)

Monday, May 11, 2009

On some dancers the toes are all smooshed together, and I would just say, 'Sorry, Misha, uh-uh, not without socks.'

I got a lot packed this weekend, plus the house went on the market, woo hoo! I dropped the kitties off with my parents so I wouldn't have to worry about them getting out or people being freaked out by CATS!--and it was just in time. I got home at 2 in the afternoon to a call saying the house was being shown between 2 and 4. I left just as they were getting there, and I think it was just a large group of realtors. Hope they sell it!

I took D to see Star Trek Saturday night--it still rocks. My friend J runs projection at this theater and he is not much for fun action flicks (I do agree that the plot was far fluffier than most Trek films, and the series deserves better, but that can be the next film...this was just a very energetic reboot!) so he and I were arguing via text as the end credits rolled.

J: Finally see why it sucks?

EA: Bite me, loved it.

J: Who puts so much time and energy into such mediocrity? Why?

EA: Beats me, what's ur mom's defense?

J: Comparing my mom to Star Trek, that's fucking low.

EA: Think I was comparing u to Star Trek actually. Besides, Kirk's hotter than ur mom.

I like to keep my arguments mature.

Anyhoo, I also wanted to get a lot done this weekend since this is a big week for fun stuff. I wanted to see Katy Perry back in March, but then it got rescheduled for May and before I could talk myself into buying a ticket, it sold out.

The show is tonight and I checked ebay this morning. Just for me, someone was actually selling one ticket. Hee hee. And considering the fees ticketmaster slaps on, I bought it for less than if I had bought it before the show sold out. Sweet! I am really looking forward to it, since I have a feeling it's a big production visually. Not to mention her outfits/costumes...

Plus it's at House of Blues, my very favorite big show venue. Parking and getting out is a breeze, the seating is ideal, I love the whole place.

I know she occasionally gets slammed for her music being supposedly homophobic and/or for lezploitation (kinda hard to do both, but whatev), but this strikes me as something one might think from the song titles alone--rather than listening to the lyrics. I was initially put off by the title Ur So Gay, but the lyrics make the song, and it's not being used as an insult. I can see why someone would make that assumption, however.

In any case, I think her music's fun. And bouncy. Plus who doesn't love a big production number?

Which reminds me, reason #87 I love Central Market: I walked in today and they were playing fairly obscure Dar Williams. One of the few things I will miss in Texas, no doubt, is my Central Market!