12.17.2007

repost: Free Willy! I mean, Rice!

12.17.2007
Free Willy! I mean, Rice!

OK, so I got sent this e-mail, from Ideal Bite (a cool, green living newsletter thing), and in the one for today, they had Free Rice, which is a vocabulary game, that for every one you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice. Which really isn't much, but it's a really addictive game. It's not easy either. It gets harder as you get them right, and easier as you get them wrong. They had crazy words that I had never heard (argillaceous apparently means clay-like), and words that were pretty easy (a fen is a marsh).

Oh, and apparently I haven't posted, like, anything about what's actually going on in my life. I've decided I'm going to do photography. I've convinced my mother to help me pay for a $700 camera. I'm taking 2 photo classes next semester at Santa Monica College. And I cannot possibly be more excited. I think what I fully want to do, long term, is Set Photography. I want to be the person who runs around on set taking pictures of people, getting paid by the promotional people to get the shots and still of the actors and the director and the camera to be published in Entertainment Weekly or some other magazine, or a press kit, or even in a behind the scenes package on the DVD. I'd get to work with cool people, but not actually have to deal with telling them what to do or get in their way, or babysit them!

I'm excited!

Also, in other news, some of my family is coming to visit for Christmas. My parents are coming in on Saturday, as is Kim (my dad's little brother through Big Brothers) and his wife and step-son, Yolanda and Stephen. Jessica is leaving for Singapore on Thursday, and she is crazy sick right now, and freaking out. We don't have a heater that works worth anything, so we're both more susceptible. The heater is in the wall, and heats the apartment upstairs nicely and the 3 square feet around it. So we haven't even turned it on this year.

Question of the Day: What are your Christmas plans?
Posted by Deborah at 11:22 AM 0 comments
Labels: Christmas, family, green, job, roommate, work

12.07.2007

repost: Lame.....

Lame...

A whole one entry for last month? Yeah... I feel lame. And that entry doesn't even really count because I was going to do that NaNoWriMo thing, and then got completely sidetracked by about a million other things. So no novel-thingy either...

But it's 1am, and I've decided that I am not allowed to go to sleep until I've written a 'decent' amount. How long is a "decent amount?" I have no idea. Probably about 2 sentences shorter than this entry.

I actually saw two movies in the theater this weekend, and both were really good. I'm not going to review either of them here, because I have a special, separate place for that. But I do want to talk about the previews I saw for the Coming Attractions.

Last night Jessica and I saw Enchanted, and there were only a few previews worth mentioning. One was the Water Horse movie. It looks like it's a bit more serious, and less silly than some of the others I saw. (I mean "College Road Trip"? Are you serious?) But it stars the kid from Millions (Alex Etel), which I really loved, and I think this is set back in the 1930s or 40s, not present day. Which is good.

Then I went to see Beowulf tonight with a friend from work, and there were some good trailers at the beginning of it. The Cloverfield trailer looks really interesting. A cross between The Blair Witch Project and Godzilla or some other monster movie. Then I Am Legend is the third re-make of a book by the same title (look up The Omega Man). It's a vampire movie, but it doesn't look awful.so many vampire movies are honestly kinda generic, because there's so little original left to do with them. But this one looks decent.

That's all I have the energy for. It's after 1:30am! and I've been up since 8-ish... grr...

Question of the Day: what previews look interesting to you?

12.03.2007

repost: Very Odd...

12.03.2007
Very Odd...

So, I was doing my laundry this morning at the laundromat, since I needed to get everything done in less time. I was standing at the counter folding my socks, realizing that I wear an inordinate amount of pink socks (I think it's a rebellion for being forced to wear black or white at work), and a guy comes up behind me. He was kinda cute, shorter than me, dark hair, and says, "I wanted to say I think you're pretty." I said, Thank you, and didn't know what else to say. I mean, what else do you say to a complete stranger who just comes up and says something like that? I didn't even think it had actually happened, except there was another guy standing there, waiting for his laundry to come out of the washer, and he saw it too. The entire thing totally made my whole day!

Question of the Day: What are you going to get me for Christmas?

11.03.2007

repost: NaNoWriMo: #1

11.03.2007
NaNoWriMo: #1

"I have a date tonight!" exclaimed Jenn as she hung up the phone.
"Really?" asked Melissa as she looked up from her computer. "Since when do you actually say yes when guys ask you out? And since when does any guy live up to your expectations?"
"Since I've decided to lower my standards a bit, " grimaced Jenn. Melissa looked across the room at her in that way she had of being skeptical and all-knowing at the same time. "OK! Ok, so I'm bored and lonely and don't want to spend Friday night by myself again."
"And what is wrong with having a girls movie night at my place?" Alex piped up. "I was thinking we could do The Devil Wears Prada."
"We haven't done movie night in over two months. One of you two always has a date, and I'm the one at home with my own bowl of popcorn and a book. Besides I watched that one last week."
"So we'll watch it again, tomorrow night. You go on your date and we'll do movie night at Alex's place tomorrow. We can make a day of it and go shopping." Melissa was the sensible one. "But for now, you have to tell us how you met this guy. What's he look like? What's his name, what does he do? What's his social security number?"
"Har, har, har. Very funny," Jenn replied. "He's 5'11, kinda cute. He's an accountant and his name is John." She listed his traits off like some kind of grocery list.
"Sounds like a real winner," Alex commented sarcastically. "You don't sound like you're that into him, why are you bothering?"
"Because it's been an ice age since I went out on a date and I'm out of practice. OK? What is this the Inquisition?"
"OK! OK, just one last question, and really, I already asked it, you just didn't answer it before: where did you meet him?" Melissa prodded.
Jenn muttered an answer that was garbled through a cough.
"Wait, what was that? I didn't hear that!!" Alex asked.
"Did you just say Online??" Melissa exclaimed, incredulously.
Jenn hung her head, partially in embarassment and because she was busy turning bright red.
"Oh honey!" Melissa said, turning sensitive as she noticed the other woman's discomfort. "We will fully support you in finding Mr. Right, or Mr. Right now. And I'm proud of you for joining whatever website to find a guy. It may take some duds before you find one that's worth anything, but it'll be worth it in the end, right?"
"Yeah, totally. My cousin in Ohio met her husband through one of those dating sites. She said you don't meet the most attractive guys through those, but they're usually pretty nice." Alex was clearly trying to make her feel better, and Jenn wasn't as embarassed now that she know the other women actually supported her decision. She knew she would get some good-natured teasing about it, but they would support her through the experience.

Question of the Day: So what do you think?

10.29.2007

repost: NaNoWriMo!!!!

10.29.2007
NaNoWriMo!!!!

OK, So I've decided that I'm going to do the national Novel writing month. Who'da wha'? Ok, so there's this website http://www.nanowrimo.org/ that has this thing where to encourage procrastinators to stop and to get authors and writers' juices flowing they hold a novel writing month. That during that month, November, you write. Crap, gold, good stuff, bad stuff, you just write. You don't worry about what it is or how it sounds, but you output 50,000 words in 30 days. So I'm going to do this, and put my most recent start on hold in the meantime. I'll do something entirely fantastical, or who knows? I haven't decided yet.

I think I'm going to post parts of my novel here, but I haven't decided yet. Maybe if they don't suck.

Question of the Day: What's your book about?
Posted by Deborah at 9:45 PM 1 comments
Labels: creative, procrastinate, writing
Monday Monday (dah dah, da-da-da, dah)

If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be and why?
I would wish I had siblings. I think I missed out on the social development thing, and the whole relating to others thing.
Do you think that the world will be a better or a worse place 100 years from now?
Probably worse. People will be living even longer, contributing even more to the over-population problem. China will probably be all but unlivable. The sea level will rise, at least a little, but enough to cause problems, and dislocate people. But the technology should be pretty cool.
At the beginning of a relationship, do you trust your new partner unless there is something specific to make you do otherwise, or do you withhold your trust until he/she has earned it? I generally trust until otherwise informed. Unless I get a 'bad vibe' from them, but then why would I be in a relationship with them?

It's just another Manic Monday

10.27.2007

repost: Dazed & Confused

10.27.2007
Dazed & Confused

I'm kinda upset right now. And to be honest, I'm not really sure why. I got to spend time with my godson and his parents, and they're on their way to Argentina for 5 weeks, before bunking down for the winter up in Alaska. While they were here though, I think I realized that I don't really like his father. I love his mother, we went to college together, but her husband treats me like I'm 14, and only capable of being their babysitter. He criticizes any decision or suggestion I make, and this morning I felt like I was being ignored. If it was just being ignored, I could deal with that, but I got into the elevator before him and went to the rear corner so other people could get on, and I get backed into. I ordered French toast with strawberries for breakfast, and I manage to get half of a strawberry before he feeds them all to his kids. And yes, I understand that having 2 small children is very hard, and takes a lot of time and energy, but that doesn't give you the right to ignore other peoples feelings and rights either. I love her, thoroughly, and I love her boys, they're so precious.

I got another book on figuring out what to do with myself. I'm annoyed, and I don't want to be at Starbucks for the rest of my life. I like working there, but I don't want to get sucked into working there forever.

Question of the Day: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Posted by Deborah at 2:08 PM 0 comments
Labels: friends, work

10.24.2007

repost: Ok, ok....

10.24.2007
Ok, ok....

I admit it. I've been really bad about updating my blog recently. Honestly, I'm blaming eHarmony. Not that there's been a plethora of guys that I'm ready to get married to or anything like that, but I've been writing about all my random crap to them, instead of posting it for the whole world to see. I'm tempted to post a few of the conversations, just because it would put up everything that's been going on.

For example, the DGA has a training program for Assistant Directors that I was contemplating applying for, something I've since decided against. Now I think I've decided to make a movie that's been in my head for some months now, but I have to figure out a way to get things for it (i.e. a camera & microphone, releases, editing software, etc.). I'm still going after the ASM thing at work, but I've had about 16 people lately tell me that I need to be in the entertainment business in some capacity. I think they're right. The problem is, every time I think about acting, it involves all those headshots and classes before I can even begin auditions....

I bought a few books last week, one of them wasn't even worth mentioning, but the other one was Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, and it was fantastic. I swear it manages to get in jabs at about 6 different religions, all while being incredibly funny. It's all about Biff and Joshua (apparently his name wasn't really Jesus, that was a mis-translation). They go off on this huge adventure into the East searching for knowledge on how-to be the Messiah. It's really funny because I was raised Catholic, so you can totally see half to 3/4 of this stuff happening, and then the other part of it just being the work of an overactive imagination. I'm sure Jesus had a slightly more human side: he had to grow into his sermons somehow. And I love the part about the beatitudes....

There are fires burning right now. Up in Malibu, down in San Diego, Way up near Santa Clarita. It's emphasizing the fact that this whole region needs rain. I don't know how, but it's making the air unbelievably dry, and I've been drinking crazy amounts of water.

Question of the Day: What's the last book you read?

10.20.2007

Delay....

I know, I know, I haven't posted in what must seem like ages to all two of my devoted readers. To everyone else that pops over and reads once in a while, it's just like the off season. My blog is in re-runs.



In the past 3 weeks, buckets and buckets of stuff has happened and since I don't have much time right now, I doubt I'll be able to get through it all. Al Gore and a Committee on Climate Change won the Nobel Peace Prize and then got torn apart by some British court for being inaccurate in the movie, unjustly I might add.



At work we have a new district manager, our old one having quit. I like her. She's a hard-ass, and likes everything to be done, and that's the way this store in particular has to be run. There are so many little things that don't get done because people don't think to do them, and if you put a little more threat over them, they'll be more likely to finish them, to put a little more urgency into things, and to get the job done. One person has already been fired, and while I'm not sure of the reason yet, it will certainly put the fear into the rest of the staff. The guy that got fired had been there for longer than anyone else.



I joined a gym. I don't know if I put that into my last entry. I'm loving it though. It's a lot of fun, and I feel so good when I go. I doubt I've lost any weight, but I did a personal training session when I first started (you get one hour for free), and Sean totally kicked my ass.



This eHarmony thing isn't going so well so far. I've only had one date, and I haven't really talked to the guy since then. I don't think we really clicked. It wasn't a bad date, it was just, well, I'm not sure. The other guys on the site, I haven't seemed to be too interested in. There's a few that I'm getting to open Communication with, but we're not actually talking on the phone or anything yet. There's one guy that I exchanged phone numbers with, but we keep missing each other, and I think we both just kinda gave up....



I think that might be all the effort I have to put in for today. I have to be at work fairly soon, and I want to eat lunch of some variety before I go...



Question of the Day: What are your plans for Halloween?

9.28.2007

Life Decisions

So I'm trying to make some decisions here, and I'm not doing very well at it. I like working at Starbucks, I really do, but I keep being forced to look at my current life situation. And it's not such a pretty outlook. Yes, I'll probably get the Assistant Manager promotion in about 6 months if I really go after it. And then I'll get the Store Manager promotion another year or two after that. Which mean I'll be 27 years old and working at Starbucks, living in Los Angeles, and not even having tried to get into what I came out here to do. Yes, I did the whole talent agency thing, and hated it, but I think it was just the wrong field for me. I think I need to work into the direction where I can get on set, or work in my own environment. Which leaves me with several options.



I can become a screenwriter. I mentioned this in my last entry, and while it's a plush job if you can get it, it's a hard job to get. Besides which I have a few ideas for scripts, none of which are fully developed enough to apply to a screen writing school, let alone try to get something produced on my own.




Another option is to get back into acting. I love this idea, I can pretend to be other people, and smile and look pretty for the camera, but just to get started, I would have to get headshots, and take classes, and start looking for auditions, and be willing to invest time and energy that I just don't have right now. Besides which, my schedule for work isn't very conducive to going to audition around. If I could get the same schedule every week it would be different. Or get the majority of my hours on the weekends. But I would still have to pay to get pictures and and get the printed, and the mail them out. Plus, my resume is hopeless: nothing on it is more recent than High School.




The last option is to go into Directing or Producing. I really like the idea of Producing because you run around like some kind of mad hatter making sure everything gets done on time and under budget. Plus you take care of everyone, getting needs met, but keeping people in line. Honestly I think it would be a good job for me, but again it's a really difficult job to get into. One of my neighbors is a producer, and I think I'm going to try to talk to him about what it takes to get into that. There's a training program that the DGA does that looks ideal because it would give me a boost into the industry. It's highly competitive, and it's a grueling program, but if I can get into it, I think it would be worth it.




The big problem is, it's all so hard to get into. I'm determined, but because I don't know precisely where I want to be, or what I want to do, I need advice. So I'm having lunch with Max on Wednesday, and I think I'm going to approach my neighbor at some point soon.



Question of the Day: If you have any words of wisdom, I would welcome them.

Italian for Beginners

I don't like the poster. It doesn't tell you about the movie, because 95% of the movie takes place in Denmark. However because the movie is done in a specific style it feels very much like you're a fly on the wall just watching these people as they go through their lives. They fall in love, have fights, people die, and people live their lives. It's a hard story to describe, and I'm not going to try to do so. The characters are ones you'd meet everyday. There's a hairdresser, a pastor, a hotel concierge, a bakery attendant, a restaurant manager, and a chef. The people aren't classically Hollywood beautiful, they're real, and approachable.

A romantic comedy with and about real people.

9.27.2007

Sleeping Beauty

I could not get 5 minutes into this movie before I started to cry. I haven't seen it for 15 years probably, but it's one of those movies that you see when you're a kid, and then brings back memories when you're an adult. All the romance and the "Happily Ever After" in the Disney movie I watched as a kid shaped me a lot. This one though, watching it, and trying to analyze it, it's really not a very good movie. The music is fantastic, and the fact that they used Tchaikovsky is pure genius. However they spent so much time doing the painting of the backgrounds and hadn't figured out how to display emotions on their characters at all. It was a kid's movie, so I don't think they cared about it at all. Some of the motions were silly and overplayed. People don't move like that, but apparently faeries do.

In spite of all that, I love it. It's just one of those movies...

Zodiac

Zodiac was a fantastic movie, and not just because some of my favorite actors are in it. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith, a cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the Zodiac killings. He's the central figure in the film and, as always, turns is a stellar performance. He's geeky, and energetic, and hyper-intelligent. Robert Downey Jr. plays Paul Avery the lead reporter covering the Murders. He becomes obsessed as well, and when things don't turn out, when the Zodiac isn't caught, his whole life gets messy. He becomes an Alcoholic and generally gets very abrasive. Mark Ruffalo is David Toschi, the head cop on the case in San Francisco. The killings spanned several different counties, so there were many people working on it, but Toschi was the Inspector that Graysmith worked with and had the nearest contact with, so he's the guy with the biggest role in the film. Brian Cox had a small role, but he's worth mentioning simply because he's always so sleazy. He plays some kind of lawyer, and he's totally in it for the fame. The movie's directed by David Fincher, who also directed Fight Club among other. The movie is slow paced is spots, but considering the span of time over which the actual events took place, it's understandable. And I don't like the closing remarks (where you find out what happened to everyone), they're large enough type to work on the big screen, but even on my TV, which is rather large, you can't read them.

Overall a good movie, tense and well thought out. With a fabulous cast.

9.24.2007

Bizarre

I am a smart one. I just tried to go to work an hour early. So I figure that I'd come back and type out a bit of a blog before I actually left. I had looked at the clock and saw 11:56 and thought it was 12:56. Oops. Oh, well.



On my way home from work yesterday I saw a seagull get run over by an SUV. It was strange because you so rarely see birds get run over. You normally see possum, or squirrels, or other small mammals, but this was a bird. I was going south on Lincoln, and I was stopped at a light. There were 3 seagulls on the opposite side of the road fighting over a half-eaten slice of pizza that was in the right-hand lane. When the light turned green, I was a ways back, so I couldn't go right away, but oncoming traffic did, and two of the three gulls abandoned their quarry, and the third one tried to carry it off, and wound up getting stuck, tail-first, under a large tire. The crunch was audible from the 20-some-odd feet away that I was in my car, but my windows were down. It was a little gruesome. I didn't stick around, but I don't think the bird died right away. The car that actually ran over it didn't stop right away, and traffic slowed down a bit, but I don't think anyone stopped. Those birds are inordinately stupid. And it's not like that was the first car in the column. It was the first car in the right lane, but there were probably 2 cars in the left lane before that car came along. I can still hear the crunch in my head.



I'm starting to get royally annoyed at my upstairs neighbors. They are so loud, all the time. They woke me up at 2:30 yesterday morning, and I almost called the cops on them again, but I couldn't remember what time I worked, and I looked at the wrong day. I wouldn't have cared as much if I had closed like I thought, but I had to be there at 6 am! I really should have filed another noise complaint. Not that it would necessarily make a difference, but it would be worth a shot.



I think I've decided to try and write a screenplay. Maybe even shoot it myself. They've got these cheap, disposable video cameras at CVS that I could use, and considering the plot I think I might want to go for, the lower quality might be a good thing.



So Criss Angel. [I get US Weekly because they killed off Premiere magazine (best magazine ever, and it died!). But I just got the last issue.] The guy is a major publicity hound. He's managed to hook up with so many famous chicks, or at least make it look like he's hooked up with them. A lot of them have been in the middle of other disasters (i.e. current fling with Ms. Spears). He's either a genius at getting press coverage for himself, or a total sleaze ball. Or both.



Speaking of Britney Spears, I think I might actually be starting to feel sorry for the girl. She's a total mess and she has to watch her life play out on the covers of magazines and on Entertainment Tonight. She's an awful mother, but she probably loves her kids. She's just too young. I blame the American Public for demanding to know every intricate private detail of stars' lives. It's not our right. Celebrities have a right to privacy just the same as anyone else.



Question of the Day: What's the strangest thing you've ever seen while driving?

Snow Cake

This movie was thoroughly impressive. It was so well written and beautifully acted and directed. Alan Rickman is Alex, a man who having recently got out of jail gives a ride to a young woman and they get into a car accident. She dies, but he walks away with barely a scratch. Guilt ridden he visits he mother, Linda, played luminously by Sigourney Weaver. Where that doesn't sound like it would be even a little believable, she does it so well, so beautifully, that she's absolutely perfect in the role. Carrie-Anne Moss plays Maggie, Linda's neighbor, and love interest for Alex. The acting all around is fantastic and completely believable. The story and the way it helps each of the characters deal with the loss of Vivienne, Emily Hampshire, is touching, but not sappy.

The whole film can see life both through and around rose colored glasses. It's a wonderful film.

Man on Fire

I mostly liked this movie. The story was good, the acting above par, but the camera work, didn't work with the story being told. Director Tony Scott uses the same kind of frenetic camera motions and cuts that he uses in Domino. The problem is where it works in Domino because of the sex, drugs, rock and roll feeling of that movie, this movie suffers because of it. The only point it's used to good effect is when Creasy, Denzel Washington, is incredibly drunk toward the beginning of the film. In other scenes, the frenetic pace that's manufactured in the editing room doesn't match the slow tension building up on screen that explodes when Creasy goes on his rampages. Dakota Fanning, as Pita, is precocious, as always, and turns in a performance as much like I'd expect her to be in real life as any (until of course she gets kidnapped).

A good movie, doesn't end exactly the way you expect, but it works out and feels like a true story.

9.22.2007

Rain!!

It actually rained last night!! I am so happy. It almost never rains here, and the fact that it rained last night meant I slept sooooo well.



I had the second half of my root canal yesterday. I also had the temporary crown put on. It kinda sucked...



I don't have a lot to say today. I'm sorry. I want to type this huge thing, but I'm still a bit tired...



Question of the Day: What are you doing today?

9.20.2007

5AM

I'm writing this post really just to say that I posted something at 5am. I have to be at work in 45 minutes, because it's really 5:15 right now, not 5 o'clock exactly. I've aleady brushed my teeth, but I have to figure out something to eat for breakfast. I should eat a bowl of cereal, but for some reason, i never feel like I have time when I'm going to work this early. I think I have one Luna bar left so I'll probably eat that while I drive...



Question of the Day: What do you Eat for Breakfast?

9.19.2007

Musings on Pop Stars

So this whole debate on Britney Spears. I don't believe she should keep her children. She's unstable, and I hate to say it but her ex: Kevin Federline would make a better full-time parent than she does. Her performance at the VMA's simply proves it. Se took a bunch of Xanax or some other anti-anxiety drug beofre her performance, and rather than showing everyone what she is still capable of, she simply showed everyone how pathetic she has made herself out to be. The fact of the matter is that as soon as they do a full psychiatric evaluation of her, they'll figure out that she's not truly capable of taking care of those kids properly. And why should the state allow her to when she doesn't actually take care of them? She views them as playthings rather than children to be taken care of.



Question of the Day: Who do you think would make a worse parent?

9.18.2007

Manic Tuesday?

If you could enter a racehorse in the Kentucky Derby, what would you name your horse?

SomethingElse (literally)

What famous person, whom many people find attractive, is most unappealing to you?

Orlando Bloom (he's a bit wooden)

Which foreign country are you least interested in visiting?
I'm going to say New Zealand, only because I've already been there. I definitely want to go again, but I have to bump it to the bottom of the list.



Manic Monday



Question of the Day: What are your Responses?

Craziness

Oh My. Not the best day ever. I get a ticket. Not a speeding ticket, or a traffic ticket or for anything normal, but for crossing the Freakin' double yellow line! I had "allegedly" pulled out around traffic to get into the turn lane too early, crossed the double yellows, into the middle lane, to get to the turn lane for about 150 feet. And of course LAPD has nothing better to do than set, essentially a speed trap for people doing exactly that, and I get pulled over. Never mind that the guy behind me does exactly the same thing. But I can totally contest it because the guy who worte me the ticket didn't even look at my registration very well, and put that the car was registered in my name, which of course it's not. My mom still owns it, and if he had actually looked at it he would have noticed that.



Oh I was so upset. He came up to the window and got my license and went back to his motorcycle, and I started crying. I know, I know, that's so stereotypical, but work today had been crazy, too many chefs in the kitchen type-of thing and nothing was getting done. But I was so stressed out, I just started crying, and I pretty much held it together when he was actually talking to me, but I think he could probably tell I had been crying. After he told me about what was going on, I sat there and cried a little bit more just to get it out of my system, and then I drove off. I swear that just makes me so upset! ARGH!!




But in other news (trying to be more upbeat), I have 2 new addictions. Jessica and I went shopping on Sunday before my date, up to the mall at Century City, and I had the most amazing the ever. Pinkberry. Oh my GOD! This stuff is amazing. It's frozen yogurt, but it's not trying to be ice-cream. It tastes like sweetened plain yogurt that you get in the grocery store, that would actually have live cultures in it. It's really good, tangy. Then the cool thing is they put topping on it: blueberries, strawberries, fruity pebbles, chocolate chips, almonds, coconut, kiwi, banana. And they've only got 2 flavors: Original (which is really unflavored, just sweetened) and Green Tea (which isn't as sweet as the Original, but it's also less tangy).




The other addiction I've formed is for Origins. They're a skincare company, but their products are amazing. They smell divine, and it's not done with "perfume", but with natural oils and extracts. They're great on my skin too. I've been using them for a few days now, and I love it. i'm taking longer in the bathroom now, but I actually enjoy it...



Question of the Day: What's your indulgence?

9.17.2007

Dating

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I joined eHarmony. It's been good so far, I have a ton of matches. I'm a little weirded out by the whole thing because, well, it's online, and then you have to meet people in person. And they could be psycho or something. You just kinda cross your fingers and hope they're not.



I actually had a date last night with a guy named Jonathon. It went surprisingly well. I say surprisingly because, well, honestly, if you know me, I haven't had a date in, well, ever. I've had sorta-dates, and sorta-boyfriends, but nothing that actually counted. But this went very well.



Question of the Day: When was the last date you went on?

9.15.2007

3:10 to Yuma

I really had fun in this movie. It's a western and they're all usually so generic that this one was a bit of a pleasant surprise. Russell Crowe and Christian Bale star and anything with them in it is bound to be good. These two men can act. Russell Crowe (phone throwing aside) puts in a really solid performance of a character that you don't fully understand. Is he fully evil as he claims? If so, then why does he behave the way he does? Christian Bale plays a much more straight-forward character: a rancher, a father, a man going broke trying to save his family. The supporting cast is great too. I wasn't expecting Alan Tudyk to be in it, and I swear the poor man has yet to survive a film. Logan Lerman was a surprise, as William, the son of Dan Evans (Bale). He starts out very stereotypical teen-angsty, but the character development is quite good.

The overall script combined with the acting and directing of the piece make for a very good experience for movie, and that doesn't even include all the action sequences.

9.14.2007

High Spirits

I love this movie. I have loved it practically since it came out. I think I saw it on TV or something with my mom like a year or 2 after it was originally released, so I would have been around 7 years old when I first saw it. High Spirits is one of those movies that isn't really good. It doesn't have Oscar winning performances, or an amazing plot, but it's one of those movies that everyone wants to see because they're a lot of fun. This one has ghosts and love, and fighting and even small explosions. And a haunted bus. Peter Plunkett (played by Peter O'Toole) runs a hotel in an old Irish castle that has been in his family for centuries. Unfortunately, the mortgage holder is about to foreclose and move the entire castle, brick-by-brick to Malibu, for God-only-knows what reason. So as a last ditch effort, he bills the places as the most haunted place on Earth and dresses up his staff as ghosts and books the place full. He gets quite a lovely cast of characters as his guests, each one obnoxious in their own way. When they all discover the ruse, they decide to leave, which in turn makes the real ghosts angry. Steve Guttenberg plays an American who manages to fall for a ghost named Mary, played by Daryl Hannah. His wife, played by Beverly D'Angelo, falls for Mary's husband, Martin, played by Liam Neeson. It was originally supposed to be somewhat like A Midsummer Night's Dream, and I can see how, but apparently the producers had different ideas.

It all works out though because it turned out to be a great movie. One that probably shaped a lot of the way I look at movies.

Russian Dolls

Ok, so there's this guy who comes through our drive through at Starbucks on a daily basis who gets nothing but a Grande black coffee. He sits in his car, smoking, and cursing in Russian to whoever he's on the phone with. He's totally like Russian mafia, or a spy or something. Today, I was talking with some of my co-workers, and apparently some of them are scared of him. Which I find incredibly funny. Because he's not a spy, though he could be. He's just tough. Viggo Mortensen is playing a Russian Mafia guy in a movie that is out or coming out soon, Eastern Promises, and I swear he bases his character on this guy.



Speaking of movies, I saw the new teaser trailer for The Dark Knight. It looks awesome. Heath Ledger is playing the Joker, which is a little tough after Jack Nicholson did it way back in the day. But, thank GOD! they're replacing Katie Holmes with Maggie Gyllenhaal, i.e. someone who can actually act. I'm really pleased with that choice mostly because she was the only bad choice in the first movie.




The other trailer that I saw that I'm a little excited about was the "Iron Man" trailer. Robert Downey Jr. was probably the perfect choice to play an alcoholic billionaire inventor...




Question of the Day: How do you feel about root canals?

8.28.2007

Longest Post Ever

Oh.

My.

God.


The past 3 weeks have been absolutely insane. Between family reunions, and working and bachelorette parties, and Busch Gardens, and getting nagged about where I work, and deciding to potentially move again, I feel like I need another vacation!!!



Seriously though, I had a lot of fun during my "vacation." (I put that in quotes because there wasn't a whole lot of relaxing going on.) First off, there was the family reunion. The first night there was a celebration for Stephanie's Graduation. The second night, my cousin Amiee got engaged. The third night, was my mom's birthday party (she's 50, but don't tell anyone I told you that). There was just so much going on.



Saturday night, we also went to a party thing at a neighbor's house. He was celebrating some work being finished on his house or something, and he had a bunch of his employees there. Apparently the party was for them, but there was only a couple of them. But we invaded and proceeded to get extremely drunk. My underage cousins were drunk, my alcoholic aunt was drinking, even my mother got down. We were all dancing and having a grand ol' time. Justin apparently threw up. Several times. I went swimming fully clothed (although I've done that sober, so the alcohol really isn't an excuse). I think I may have broken my toe, but it may just be unbelievably bruised. It still hurts. One of my cousins was hooking up with one of the male employees, though he was cute. One of my aunts was very flirty with one of the older guys. It was a crazy party.




Sunday, I was nursing my toe, so I didn't go with everyone to the beach, but that night, we all dressed for a funeral, aka my mother's birthday. We got a cake that said RIP Trudy, and Happy 50th. It even had 50 black candles that were the kind the re-light themselves. She got some fun gag gifts (like a ginormous calculator, and a package of Depends), and my dad added another diamond to her wedding ring and had it re-sized so she can actually wear it. It was really awesome.



The next week I spent pretty much just chillin'. We did some shopping, and hanging out and I went over to Laura's place to meet all her friends and her fiancee. I find it completely crazy that she's getting married next month. Laura and I met way back in my very first business class at FGCU, Intro to Marketing. We were both a little bit loud, obnoxious, and very smart-assed. We always knew all the answers, and had no shame in letting the rest of the class know it. The class was taught by a guy named Mr. Stern, and he insisted on calling everyone by their last names: Mr. Jones, Miss Smith, and so on (names changed to protect the not-so-innocent). But then when I decided to do a semester of Grad school, she and I were in the same class again, and we started hanging out for real. Her friends are crazy and I love them. I got to spend time with her and her friends while I was here this time, her and Angela and Andy and Rae and Mike and Chris and Jenn, and they're such cool people. Having a group of friends like that is one thing that could get me to come home. Plus it's cheaper than LA. And I don't necessarily have to live with my parents. Angela said something about her and Jenn getting a 3 bedroom house, and I could live with them. The other thing I was contemplating doing was moving up to Seattle. I think I could pretty much love it up there, plus Starbucks Corporate is there. It's cheaper than LA, and they get Rain! It just doesn't rain in Los Angeles. I swear: I think it's rained 6 times since I moved out there and people freak out when it does happen. Seattle is like a rainier version of San Francisco.



Friday night, we had the bachelorette party. Oh my. That was a lot of fun. We started out at a restaurant called Cin Cin which is fantastic, and I'll review at Yelp. (Another addiction, Yay!) We had tapas and shared them among us which was perfect for us all, and then we all had drinks, and I think Mary had 3 (there were 7 of us, so that's 10 drinks, probably more). So for drinks and food for 7 people, it was around $170 plus tip. Which is awesome especially considering how good the food was. We even had dessert, which were these amazing truffles. Total food-gasm. After that we stopped at Blu for a round of drinks, and then we climbed back into the limo after flirting briefly with the security guard. We went downtown to some place called Neo which was ghetto and had dancer in booty shorts dancing on the bar and crappy drinks. After that we were planning on going to TBL, but we kinda got high-jacked but some drunk guys who wanted us to go to a club around the corner with them called EnVie, which we almost had to pay for. But Laura was having none or that. It was excellent. The guys we sorta went in with finally figured out we weren't interested and went away, but we found new guys which were much cuter. I was dancing with one of them (the tall really cute one) in a way that Laura commented that I needed a condom to dance that way. Which was very nearly true. He was hot and I was having lots of fun. At that point I had had something like 3 drinks and a shot of something fruity, I think it had Parrot Bay Pineapple or Mango or something. The story of the shots is kinda funny too. We had these dice that we were playing with that had various things on them. One die had lick, suck, lap dance, and a few other instructions on them, and the other had the person on which you were to perform, such as a random guy, a random girl, the maid of honor, or the bartender. Angela rolled them and got "lap dance" and "bartender", so she took them over to the bartender at EnVie and showed it to him, but it was dark, so he took them and tried to see them in the light and when he figured out what it said, his eyes got really wide. He showed them to the other bartender and they started laughing. That's how we got the free shots, although Angela never actually followed through on the lap dance (though she apparently wanted to). About half an hour before closing time we left, we didn't want to get chased out, and the limo dropped most of the other girls off, but Angela and I stayed the night at Laura's and it was fun. We talked, and apparently she had spent most of the night making out with the shorter of the 2 guys, and had exchanged phone numbers with him. He called not long after we got to Laura's place, and it was highly amusing.



While I was home I worked at a bunch of different Starbucks stores. I went in a handful of them and actually worked in 3. It was a really good experience because I could see the differences between layouts and efficiency changes and what works and what doesn't. The fastest store I worked at was the store at the Miramar Outlets. Their bar and the layout of it is really good for their business. I think I would change it so their ice machine is in the front, but I think I would change that about all or most stores. The first store I trained at had the ice machine in the front, probably solely because they didn't have space for it anywhere else. They also had the dish sink out front, which looked really bad, but it was really convenient. In terms of where I'd want to work though, The store at College and Winkler is a really nice store. They have a lot of regulars who come in daily or weekly, and the people who work there seem really cool. The other store I worked at was a store inside the Edison Mall. It's only been open something like 6 months, so it's a nice store. I only worked one shift there, but the people there are pretty cool, but they don't have regulars you can get to know. That's the problem with stores insides malls and tourist attractions. They're apparently opening up a bunch of store out in Cape Coral too, so I could find a job out there if I decided to come back. The other thing I have to contend with, is that I applied for jobs up in Seattle. Jobs at Corporate Starbucks for things that I think I'd enjoy. I want more responsibility, something more interesting and honestly with my background, I think I deserve more money. Is that wrong? I don't think I deserve to be working for less than $10 an hour. That's like $20k per year, and I am barely living on that. I know I can make more than that, and I deserve to. What's more is my mom is totally nagging me about it which is seriously getting on my nerves. She's addicted to Cragslist, and keeps looking for new jobs and apartments for me. But at any rate, I applied for a job that I'm qualified for at the Starbucks corporate headquarters that I really hop I get. It's called a coffee and tea education specialist, and it's working on developing new training methods for partners about our various coffees and teas. I love our products and when I love something, I want to find out everything about it, and then I want to pass that knowledge along. So it's a job I think I can really enjoy, and since it's already within corporate, I'd have to move up to Seattle, plus I can probably move up within the Corporate offices easier from there.



Not only all of that, but I think I'm going to start bartending. I think I'd be good at it, plus I'd be able to make money pretty easily that way. I'm fairly cute and have a perky personality, so if I do that 2 or 3 nights a week, I could bring home an extra $2-400 depending on where I'm tending bar. There's a place that does an $85 certification, then they set you up with on the job training, which would be easier than finding one of those school, and a heck of a lot cheaper. So, I may do that, but I don't think I'll even be able to afford that until late next month at least. I didnt work as much while I was home as I normally do. I usually work around 40 hours, and I only worked about 20 hours one week, then about 34 then second, which, while still working and will make paying bills next month easier, is less than I usually work. Not only that, I spent more money that I usually do. I did the Bachelorette party, which was expensive (dinner, drinks, limo, etc). Then we went to Busch Gardens yesterday, which I'll tell you about in a minute. And I went shopping, and my mom actually made me pay for stuff. This being an adult thing kinda sucks...



Yeah, Busch Grdens. It was a lot of fun. We left Fort Myers late and got up there at almost 2pm. The place closed at 6, but that was enough time. We only rode 3 rides, one of them twice, but that was enough. We watched the monkeys and apes for like an hour. The chimpanzees were so funny. The males were fighting or trying to prove their dominance, and there was one that was younger than the others, and he was totally trying to start stuff. He was the young hot-shot, all "Look at me!" and "Who wants to take me?" and then if one of the older and bigger chimps started towards him, he would back off a bit, even run away. It was really interesting to watch. The gorillas were cool too. The first one we saw was a male, all off by himself, and he looked like he was pouting. He was like a teddy bear, then when we rounded the corner, we saw another ape, and she was totally protecting her baby. The young one I think was about a year and a half to two years old, but was still really small. On the video monitors, they were showing how they had done a c-section on the ape! The only rides we rode were the major ones: Kumbaa, Montu, and Sheikra. Sheikra is the new one, and I hadn't ridden it before, and it's really, really cool. You go up, and then you hang there for a sec, and then you go straight down. Then you spin around a bit, and you're done. I think I could design roller coasters for a living. I wouldn't know how to get into it, but it's a job I could definitely do. Someone else would have to do the engineering, but I could definitely design them. Like that Roller Coaster Tycoon game....



So now, I'm on the plane from Miami to LA. I already flew from Fort Myers to Miami. Jessica is supposed to be picking me up tonight. I have to work tomorrow, which kinda sucks, but I will get back to almost 40 hours a weeks.



I think I might officially be out of things to say.



For now.




--------------------------------



I just got off the plane, got my bags, and found an outlet that actually works. I'm hiding in a corner by baggage claim behind one of those racks of SmarteCartes, so at least I can't get run over. Our flight got in like 15 or 20 minutes early, but our baggage took that extra time to meander it's way out onto the claim thing, so I guess it all evened out.



I was sitting across the aisle from two enormous women. They were mother daughter and they had brought so much food with them, it was disgusting. I couldn't believe that a mother would let her daughter eat that way. The girl was round, spherical, like a snowman. She made the Michelin Man look skinny in comparison. It was gross. And they kept eating, and then over the 4 hour flight I think they each drank like 5 or 6 sodas. Fried food, and chinese, and sandwiches they bought on the plane. It makes me not want to eat. Ever again.



There wasn't even any really cute guys on board that I saw to make me feel better about the whole thing.... Although there was a cute guy outside just now... Mmmm.



I'm annoyed right now because I can't actually get online. I mean I can, if I want to pay T-Mobile, but I really don't feel like shelling out yet more money this trip, which is why this blog entry keeps getting longer and longer. I started it before my first flight, at like 11 am Eastern Time, and then worked on it a LOT between like 12 and 2:30 pm Eastern, and now it's 6 pm Pacific time. An I know this is a lot of time, because it's just stream of consciousness stuff. I have nothing better to do, so I'm just typing.



I'm trying to play with my phone too. I got a new phone while I was home. It's very cool. I can't remember what it's called, but it's a Kyocera, and I like it. It's got a full keyboard, and a camera and IM, and all sorts of fun stuff, plus, PLUS!, it was free. Which I love. I like Kyocera. They're generally good phones. I had one of the free ones for a while, and then I slammed it in the car door, and the damn thing still worked, I just broke the LCD screens. The phone they replaced it with really sucked though. It was a Kyocera too, but the battery was loose or something and it would randomly turn off. Which was annoying. The phone itself was ok though, I guess. This phone is cool. There's a loop built into the top to which you attach a belt clip thing so it will dangle off your belt loop, which I love. And you can flip it open while in the middle of a call, and it automatically goes to speakerphone, then you close it, and it switches back to normal. It's cool. I haven't figured out all the cool tricks it can do yet, I'm still playing...



Jessica just called my to tell me she's on her way to the airport from work. She works way up in Burbank, and in 6 o'clock traffic, it'll probably take her at least an hour to get here. We were thinking about having Kyle pick me up, but she said it would probably take him just as long to come get me.



Ok, I really am running out of things to say.



I'm starting to get hungry though. And I'm not sure I have any food at my place. Not having been there for 3 weeks, I have no idea what I have in the fridge. I may have some macaroni & cheese though. I know I have canned soup, but it's way too hot for soup. I may have to stop at Trader Joe's tonight, but I'm not sure I want to. I'm tired from traveling, I really just want to have like a hamburger or something super easy and take a shower and go to bed... I don't want to have to exert effort.



I need to make up my mind about this moving thing. I probably should just move up to Seattle either way, and try to get into Corporate from there, but moving back to Florida is SO tempting....



Dude, my butt hurts. coach seats are not comfortable, and now I'm sitting on this floor, waiting for Jessica, and I think my butt has gone numb. It's really annoying.



Ok, I need to stop writing, but I'm to the point of writing every last little tiny thing that pops into my head, and that's probably bad....



Just Say No to Word Vomit....



Or something.



(PS this is 6 pages long in MSWord, and over 3000 words…)



Question of the Day: What was the last trip you took?

8.09.2007

After the Wedding

This is a strange movie. It's in Dutch, I think and even watching the preview right before-hand, you have no idea what to expect. It's not strange in the vein of "Delicatessen" or "Secretary", more in that when you think the movie has nowhere else to go, it keeps going because it's just a slice of life for these people. In that respect it's similar to a movie by Pedro Almodovar, but it's less twisted (think incest and rape). This movie starts with a guy who does humanitarian work in India going back to Denmark to try to get funding for an orphanage that he's started. The man he's supposedly getting funding from insists on meeting him personally. Upon his arrival, he gets invited to the other man's daughter's wedding. When he gets to the wedding he meets the mother of the daughter who he appears to have met before, and the movie continues to unfold. It simply continues on and on and on, unraveling. It could have even have gone on from where it ended. I can see why it was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. It lost to The Lives of Others though, so it really didn't stand a chance.

A really interesting, engrossing film.

Family Ties

I know, I know...



I haven't written in a while, you can yell at me later, ok?



It's just that I've been watching a lot of movies lately, and I haven't even been doing the reviews on those, and I feel like I need to catch up on those before I do major updates on this blog about my personal life.



I feel very weird right now. I am currently in bed at my parents' house, in Florida! It's bizarre because I haven't been here in over a year and a half, and I'm spending 3 weeks here. I'm going to be seeing friends, spending time with my parents, and we're doing this big family reunion thing. My Grandfather and his wife, Robbie, are already here, and the rest of my mother's side of the family is arriving over the next two days. My Aunt Peggy and her 2 daughters come in tomorrow. My Uncle Matt, his wife and daughter (and her boyfriend) come in on friday, as well as my Aunt Diana and her 3 kids. My Uncle Mark isn't coming, something about bidding on a job, and not being able to get away for a weekend. He does clean welding, I think it's called-- the stuff they put inside nuclear reactors and power plants.



My family is crazy, but compared to families that I read about, or see in movies, they're pretty normal. They're all from central, very rural, Illinois, and since I was raised pretty much in San Francisco, I often times have a hard time understanding them. Preoccupations with alcohol and sex, but that's because there's not that much to do up there. I've spent small amounts of time in the town my cousins were raised in. I would go crazy if I had to live there long-term. My Aunt Peggy raised her two girls in New Jersey so they're a bit more sensible than they would have been otherwise. But my Aunt has also now been divorced twice. Not that I blame her. The guys she was married to were jack-asses, but that's gotta make things difficult.



My cousin Amiee (not Aimee) is the only one that's older than me, and that's only by about 9 months. My mother was the oldest of the 5 kids, and Amiee's father, Matt, was the second oldest. It's strange how she and I can be related and have so little in common. We have basic stuff, but we were raised so differently, with different values, that I feel like we don't have a lot to talk about. Recently, she's calmed down a lot, and I feel like I can talk to her easier, but now I'm the one who has to go out and sow my wild oats or something....



To completely change the subject, because I'm getting sleepy, I've been doing some cool things lately. I went to a party on Saturday for this Yelp thing. It was apparently the one year anniversary of having a separate LA yelp. It was totally cool too, because they did it like a prom, and everyone was all dressed up, and there was free drinks before 10, and I liked this one made with ginger flavored vodka and sprite. It was lots of fun.



And speaking of Yelp, I also found a guy to cut my hair through Yelp. He was great. Everyone who had gone to see him had given him 5 stars, and he had a %50 off deal for first-time people. It's a really cute cut, and I'll try to get a picture up, but I somehow doubt I'll succeed...



Question of the Day: What's crazy about your family?

8.08.2007

The Holiday

This movie was unbelievably cute. Some places it got a little overly so, but overall it's good. It's about two women who after being unlucky in love manage to stumble across each other on a home exchange website. They trade houses for 2 weeks over a Christmas Holiday, and things start to happen for both of them. Amanda, played by Cameron Diaz, is California-perfect. A small child notes that she looks like a Barbie doll, and she does. With perfect highlights, bright blue eyes, and a perfectly whitened smile, she embodies exactly what everyone envisions when they think of someone from California. It's kinda annoying with her hair constantly bouncing all over the place. Iris, played by Kate Winslet, is a much more familiar character. She's so much more relatable. She's supposed to be a tiny bit frumpy, I think, but this is Kate Winslet we're talking about, so that's not really true, especially when Jude Law plays her brother, Graham, who, of course, Amanda falls in love with. There are some wonderful bits full of big smiles and interesting interactions. It doesn't wrap up quite the way I would have liked, but I figure it just ends on Christmas, you can add your own happily ever-after onto the end of it: who moves to which side of the world to be with whom.

A cute, romantic, Christmas movie.

7.25.2007

Mostly Martha

This is a really cute German Romantic Comedy. Wait, what? Most German films I've seen are really intense, very serious, and to say there's a German romantic comedy, is kinda strange. But this one is really good. The re-make is getting released shortly, No Reservations. It's funny because the preview for the new one could be the preview for this one. Not having seen the English version, it looks like it's pretty much shot-for-shot the same movie. The German version stars Martina Gedeck, and she's great as the uptight chef who takes custody of her sister's daughter. Sergio Castellitto plays Mario, the chef who invades her kitchen and they fall in love. It's a really fun movie, about neuroses and letting people into your life.

A really good German Romantic comedy.

7.23.2007

Delicatessen

This one was directed by the same guy who did Amelie. It's set in a post-apocalyptic world where meat is scarce, and so cannibalism isn't frowned upon so much. It's really, really funny. One of the same actors from the other movie is in his one, Dominique Pinon, who after looking, is recognizable from a lot of other films as well. He's really a very good actor, and enjoyable to watch. The movie is completely absurd, and dark, and funny, in only the way that the French can do. It's got a bit of the same feeling as Amelie, like even though it's modern, people are stuck in the past, in the 50s or 60s. It's a great feeling, and the look really works.

A really fun movie.

7.20.2007

The Art of Spaghetti Sauce

I decided to make spaghetti & meatballs for everyone tonight. And I don't cheap out and do jars of spaghetti sauce when I do it. I am doing the all day cooking thing. I went to Whole Foods and bought tomatoes, and ground beef and all that stuff. As I was starting the cooking process, I decided to write my rules of making my sauce. They are very flexible for the most part and you can get retty creative with it as long as you follow some basics.

  • The first thing to to buy the best ingredients you can find. If you can't get good ripe fresh tomatoes, use canned, it's what I usually do anyway.
  • Tomato paste is your friend (I'm using 3 cans of it today--I like it thick & chunky).
  • Dried herbs at the beginning, fresh at the end.
  • It's really easy to chop garlic in a blender, or just smash it.
  • Choose your ingredients based on what you like, and what you think will go together. Don't leave out onions just because someone doesn't like onions. The only time you should take their opinion into consideration is if they have actual allergies, like mushrooms, or peppers, or whatever.
  • When using fresh tomatoes, PEEL them. Otherwise you will have skins stuck in your teeth, and it gets disgusting. You can do thing by boiling a big pot of water, sticking a fork into a tomato and dipping it into the water for 5-10 seconds. You will see the skin start to peel back from where the fork is sticking into it. With the fork still in it, use a paper towel to grab at the skin and slide it off. It should come off easily. If it does not, dip it back into the water for a few more second. Be careful of course, as the water, and the tomato, are hot.
  • When using canned tomatoes, never buy tomato "Sauce." This has spices in it, and is liquid-y, and does not leave you a lot of room to play. If you want a smoother sauce, go for a tomato puree, but check to see that it's seedless. Make sure you read labels. I buy Diced tomatoes. if you want something smoother, buy Petite Diced, Del Monte makes it, and probably other. I usually go for large diced and whole tomatoes. I use a combination because that way you get a few really large chunks and some more bite-size chunks. All of these come with liquid. I try to get organic, but it's not always available. The only problem with the whole tomatoes (and the reason I don't use those exclusively), is that they still have seeds. The Diced are usually seedless.
  • Use Onion.
  • Use lots of Garlic.
  • Use lots and lots of herbs like basil and oregano.
  • Beyond tomato, garlic, onion and herbs, you can add pretty much whatever you want:
    • ground beef
    • sausage
    • clams and/or clam juice
    • green peppers
    • mushrooms
    • broccoli
    • anchovies
    • melt in cheese
    • chunks of roasted garlic
    • It's pretty much just limited by your imagination

  • The way I always start is by sautéing the onion & garlic (and mushrooms and peppers, etc), then I add meat or meat juices (if a clam sauce). This is the only point I salt anything until the very end. If I'm not adding meat, which I usually don't, I add a can of tomato paste and some juice from a can of diced tomatoes. Then I add whole tomatoes first, so I can cut them a bit with whatever spoon or stirrer I'm using (always wood) against the side or bottom of the pot. Then spices: dried basil, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Diced tomatoes get stirred in, and then the whole thing simmers for a while. At some point meatballs get made and thrown in. You can add any other liquids, wine, vinegar, more clam juice, based on taste and texture at this point. Stir in any fresh herbs then throw over pasta.

Play with the texture and ingredients. I figured out a new sauce today with onion, 2 cans of tomato paste, and a large can of diced tomatoes with a bunch of spices. It'd be really good as a super chunky Arabiatta sauce.


And don't forget the garlic bread...




Question of the Day: What's your favorite kind of pasta?

7.17.2007

Crank

So I went into this movie expecting something slightly cheesy, something that wouldn't live up to my expectations. What I got out of it was pure, unadulterated fun. Adrenaline, unabashed, mind-numbing action, and some really cool stunt-work. And severed limbs, can't forget the severed limbs. I'm not going to talk about the acting, because it's an action movie, with comedy thrown in. Very much aimed at guys, for guys, and by guys (though I can appreciate that). There's a ton of extremely unlikely situations, but in this frame of reference, it's completely plausible (driving through a mall for instance). The basic storyline is that Chev wakes up having been give some kind of Chinese cocktail of drugs, and the only way he can stay alive is to keep his adrenaline pumping (something about the drug blocking receptors or something). So, to that end, he gets into car chases, has sex, beats people up, gets into gunfights, all with the aim of killing the guy who has injected him (who of course conveniently left a DVD telling him exactly what he did). The movie relies on some really cool camera-work, and some split-screen, which surprisingly works to its advantage. It gives the whole film a frenetic pace. The camera is jumping around, you have two different angles of the same thing to look at at the same time. At one point, two cameras are on two different characters, until one comes up behind the other and the cameras merge. Overall, I'm surprised to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

It keeps the adrenaline pumping.

7.12.2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I didn't enjoy this one as much as the last one. There are a few spots where the movie dragged, and they left some cool stuff out of the book. (I know, I know, the movie is supposed to cut out a bunch of stuff for pacing and length.) The peripheral characters in the movie lacked development, they did stuff and they didn't have any kind of motivation that was visible on-screen. The movie tried very hard to condense the book, and instead threw in characters that didn't make sense on-screen. Knowing what will happen in the next book, they were able to do some 'character development' of peripheral characters, but unless you've read those books, you don't understand it. Supporting characters are glossed over, and rather than given proper screen time for the telling of their story lines, they are given cursory glances. The Cho storyline is nothing more than a kiss. And while I understand this, from an adaptation standpoint. But from the point of watching the movie, thing were missing.

Not the best in the series.

Transformers

This movie is mostly overrated. I'll grant that the special effects are spectacular, but the script is pretty bad. The overall storyline is fairly good. It makes sense with the topic ofthe movie, and the fact that it's based on a cartoon. Some of the bits are very good. Like before you really see any of them transform, there's a bit with the car (when you see it, you'll know what I mean) and it's really funny. But then other parts, Optimus Prime (who had absolutely no good lines in the movie at all) drones on and on with canned monologues about peace and domination. The fights were a little hard to follow, because they didn't spend enough time introducing the 'bots, so it was hard to tell who was on what side during the big fight sequence. Shia LeBeouf is a really surprising actor. He's really quite good, and I plan to be impressed when he gets older. Megan Fox, was the standard hot chick, really normal, kinda boring. Josh Duhamel was miscast. They cast all these really big guys are the stereotypical army guys. Then they threw in Duhamel, because he's got a bit of a name, who compared to the big guys, is tiny.

In the end, it's not a bad movie, but it's definitely got that's cartoon feel.

7.11.2007

Everything and Nothing

I've been thinking lately about my personality, and my tendency to try to be everything all at once. And I'm not even sure I"m trying. So much of it is natural... I'm both very straightforward in asking for what I want, but I'm very shy, especially when it comes to relationships. I'm blind, but only in one eye, and I can see perfectly out of the other. I'm bossy, and still follow directions well (I like to think). I'm easy to get along with, but I can be very high-maintenance. It's so weird, like whoever built me decided they wanted me to be good at everything, but at nothing, and be neurotic and lazy, and all this other crap that I've got going on.



GAH!!



No wonder I can't find a relationship, I'm far too complicated. Nothing is ever easy...



Question of the Day: What makes you complicated?

7.03.2007

Puccini for Beginners

This movie tried so hard to be a Woody Allen movie. One of the really good ones from way back when. The problem was, they tried to follow some formula, that didn't quite work. It missed some things, and it was trying too hard to be everything all at once. It tries to do the bits where people around the main character, Allegra, are talking to her, telling her what she's thinking, but only where it's really obvious. There's the love triangle thing, but the main character doesn't seem neurotic enough to pull everything off. She's commitment-phobic, and somehow manages to get into two relationships at once. The whole plot-line is thin and drawn-out, convoluted and silly. It does have its funny moments though. The characters in it are thinly played. Allegra is annoying, Grace is vapid, and Philip is whiny.

It could have been good, but it just tried too hard.

Live Free of Die Hard

I think the best thing that I can say for this movie, is that I immediately want to turn around and see it again. It was classic John McClane, lots of explosions, Bruce Willis getting the crap kicked out of him, and bad guys that really should have gotten away with it. This one is particularly scary because rather than being based on a book, or novel, it's based on an article that was published in Wired Magazine. Basically, the terrorists in this film, rather than attacking people and specific places and blowing things up, they've figured out how to shut down the entire country. In the film, they call it a Fire Sail (I think). It's scary to think about because it's completely possible. One of the things I loved about this movie is that the stuff they reveal in the trailer is at the beginning of the movie. For example, the helicopter thing is about 45 minutes in, rather than at the very end, like in so many trailers. There's a part in the trailer with a fire extinguisher, and that's in the first 10 minutes. It's very unusual for a trailer to get it's good stuff from the beginning of a movie rather than the end. There's a lot of good bits throughout the movie, it's definitely a worthwhile watch. Bruce Willis is always good, but Justin Long is the surprise, because he totally holds his own as a smart-ass computer geek with knowledge that just confuses McClane. Rather than submitting to the will of a dominating personality, Matt Farrell (Long's character), rises to the challenge. Plus, Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Lucy, McClane's daughter, and you get to see what someone would be like growing up with him for a father. It's really surprising in the character development.

Yippie-kay-yay, mother-f....

7.02.2007

lots going on

The wedding this weekend was beautiful. I know, I know, people say that about every wedding they go to, but this one was special because it was between two people that I've known for 6, 7 or so years. I can't really remember. I think I met them both in 1999, so that would even be 8 years. Geoff & Rissa. If there were a better way to combine their names than Georissa (which just sounds silly) or Riff (just, no), we would have. The Hollywood thing of combining names totally copies off of us. At any rate, the wedding was at Rissa's parents' place, which was a completely genius place to have it. Parking was semi-evil, but it all worked out. They live on a tiny road on a cliff in Santa Barbara, that overlooks the ocean, and one of the islands that're out there (Which look a lot closer than they are). The wedding started around 5:45-ish, and it was beautiful. There was a point in the ceremony that the celebrant, Charles (a friend of their family), asked if we would witness their union and uphold it, and we didn't give an enthusiastic reply, and Rissa turned and asked, "Are you sure?" But they were so obviously happy and everyone was smiling, and then I started tearing up. Not sad tears, or anything like that. It was one of those moments where you're just so happy, the emotions just kinda overflow.



Afterwards, we went to the front yard for cocktails and snack-type foods, all mexican themed, and all tasty. That way the staff of caterers and people could move chairs around, set up tables and all that stuff. Eventually, we got called back to the other side of the house to dinner and it was kinda do-it-yourself Mexican food. Tacos and such, which sounds odd at a wedding, but it worked. They did the cake, which was tasty, and then Rissa threw the bouquet. Now, honestly, I should not have been the one to catch it, but the person who should have, had her gallbladder removed on Wednesday, so she was lying down in the back of the house. The only reason I caught it was because I'm so freakin' tall! I literally just reached up and there was really no chance of anyone else getting it.



After the wedding, I had to drive Derrek & Emily to the airport here. We went back to Geoff & Rissa's apartment, slept for like 3 hours, they packed, and then we left at like 4am. It was a relatively easy drive only because Derrek kept me awake. I was tired. I haven't done an opening shift in a long time, and I needed just a little more sleep at that point.



Yesterday, I got to play Hannelore and count everything in the store. I had to completely re-organize the back room first, but it all kinda worked out. Plus, I got like an hour of overtime.



In other work news it looks like I'm getting another promotion on top of the one I have now. I'm currently training for the Shift Supervisor position, and I'll spend 6-8 months doing that, then I'll get the ASM promotion. I'm excited about it!!



I just have to find a boy to go with that bouquet...



Question of the Day: Whose was the last wedding you went to?

6.26.2007

5 min.

Ok, so I have like 5 minutes to type as much as I possibly can.



I was going over some of my old blogs and I noticed that I had started a coupled of blogs and must have goten distracted by something, probably a movie and never finished them. Either way, if you only know me by my blog, as I know a few of you do, you don't know a few things. Number one, I got a new bike. Infinitely cooler than my original bike. I seem to remember typing something about this earlier, but I can't remember if it actually got published or not.



Number two, I'm happy about Paris Hilton being in Jail. I was reading US weekly yesterday, and as John Cusak says, "All heiresses should go to jail." I started laughing a lot when I read that. I totally agree. She's a useless piece of fluff.



Ok, my 5 minutes just turned into 7 and I have to go to work...



Question of the Day: How fast do you type?

6.17.2007

Podcast!!!

Gabcast!! My first time...







This is my first ever podcast/gabcast/audio thing.... I recorded when I was on the way to the airport to pick up my mother, and I talked about a lot of random stuff... It doesn't really sound like me, or at least the way I sound in my head, but I was very hyper while recording it, so that might explain it....

I fall down...

It sucked...



So the other day, I got off work, and decided I had to go to Trader Joe's. I refuse to drive my car there, unless I'm stopping on my way home, and at this point I was already home. So I grab the shiny new bike and head out. The previous week I had ridden all the way from home to work and back, somewhere around 6 miles each way. I had to get the basket replaced because they gave me the wrong one to go with the mount I got, but It's all set up now, and I can just go. At any rate, I get on the bike, and I'm cruin' along to the grocery store, and at one point I decide not to go around the parked cars because there is some traffic coming up behind me. No big deal, there's a driveway to the car dealership and I can get up to the sidewalk without having to jump a curb. It's a driveway. So I head for it, and I misjudge, or something because my wheel decides to stay in the gutter, while the rest of the bike, and all of my bodily momentum continue trying to get onto the sidewalk. It's hard to describe using only words because there's like a one inch curb from the gutter & street up to the sidewalk and driveway, but somehow my wheel said, "No." I'm used to using hand gestures to describe this at this point. Anyway, I wound up doing a kind of face-plant into the sidewalk. My shoulder landed first, and I've lost a layer of skin off of that (it hurts the most), and then my chin hit the ground. It only got a little scraped up, three days later and the scabs are already gone (with a little help). My bike is fine too, the basket is a little bent, but not so much that it's unusable.




On an entirely different line of thought, I am sitting here typing away, in my apartment, and I've got the door open, and just the screen door shut. One of the neighbors has a cat named Porsche, and she is the most fantastic cat ever. She will go up to anyone and let them pet her, as long as they're a decent person. There's a couple of guys in the building that she won't go near, which I find kinda funny. At any rate, she loves sitting right outside our door, almost like she's guarding us. As far as I know, she only does it when just the screen door is shut, but then you can't easily see outside when the real door is shut. I love that cat. When I got locked out (like the genius that I am), she sat outside with me and kept me company, allowing me to pet her, until I finally gave up and broke in. That was fun... (Please tell me you sensed the sarcasm there.)




Question of the Day: What's your favorite animal? (In general, not necessarily a pet.)

6.11.2007

Conundrum

So I just had to post a quick blog about this because I found it funny. I bought wood the other day at Home Depot to fix my bed, and because the 8'x4' piece of wood was too big, I'm using the remainder to turn a piece of furniture in my kitchen into something more sensible. At any rate, I just spent part of the morning starting to sand it, but needing a break, I come inside, grab a mint (those chocolate covered Altoids are awesome), and decide it's a good idea to tweeze my eyebrows. So I go from something very masculine to something very feminine in the space of 3 minutes. Amusing? I think so...



Question of the Day: when was the last time you did something strange like that?

6.10.2007

What's Up, Doc?

This movie is so classic. It's early 70s, so it's very unpretentious, but it's just outright funny. It's all about 4 identical travel bags and how everything goes haywire when people start trying to steal one or another, and there's more than one involved. And they're all on the same hall of the same floor of the same hotel. There are so many shenanigans, and little things that make fun of other things going on at the time (the last line of the movie is the best ever). Barbara Streisand is incredible in this. She sings, but it's not a musical. Ryan O'Neal is really funny as a slightly absent-minded musical researcher competing for a grant.

It's a screwball comedy. 'Nuff said.

August

Wait, it's june right now, I know, but I'm going to Florida in August for my mom's birthday, and a family reunion-type thing, and I'm starting to make plans. Right now, apparently, not everyone is actually planning on coming. There was an unplanned family reunion a few months ago when my great-grandmother died. I was really upset that I couldn't go to her funeral, but it really couldn't be helped. Funerals are always so last minute. I wasn't able to go to my Grandmother's either, but I didn't feel so bad about that one because I was actually there when she died. That was upsetting.



But I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing in terms of travel plans, how long I'm going to stay, what I'm going to bring, food that I'll probably be cooking. My mom has an amazing kitchen, and I miss it a lot, so I'll probably be doing a meal or two, a few dishes, and all that. She's got granite counters, a professional Dynasty range, a huge fridge. I'm so jealous. I miss her house. I'm glad I have my own place, I'm not renting from anyone else, but I miss her kitchen. I'm going to be making iced tea at the very least, but I'm trying to figure out the ratios of how to do it in larger than one serving. When I do it at work, I get a short cup (8 oz.) and brew one bag of Refresh (Mint tea), and one bag of Wild Sweet Orange, Then I pour it into a grande cup (16 oz.) full of ice. I usually add a little bit of classic syrup or a couple packets of sugar just to sweeten it a bit. This works well when I double the recipe too, and do it into a water bottle that I have that's 32 oz, but I can't find it for some reason right now. I'm assuming it's somewhere in my car, or maybe at Damon's place, because I have no clue where I left it right now.



I'm trying to figure out when the appropriate time to call a guy is. I said I'd call him, after our lunch thing on Friday, and I want to call him, but I know I won't be able to do anything until Tuesday. I'm thinking I could probably call him today at the earliest, but tomorrow is probably the best idea. I don't like this "dating" thing. It does nothing but confuse me, especially since I don't know any of the rules...




Question of the Day: What's your favorite iced tea?

6.09.2007

I've got the blues...

Or maybe I'm just really bored. I'm not really sure. I'm kinda just in a funk. I'm not in the mood to watch a movie, (Wait, what? This is ME we're talking about here!) so I'm just sitting here on the couch wondering what to do.



I got the invitation to my friends' wedding at the end of the month, and I'm trying to figure out what I want to do. I'm planning on going up there (Santa Barbara) on Friday, doing the Welcome Barbecue thing they have planned, and then the wedding & reception on Saturday, then late Saturday/ early Sunday, driving back. I only say I'm going to do that because I promised Derrek that I'd drive him to the airport so he can fly back to Vermont. He's silly like that. The problem is, he's got something like an 8am flight, so we either have to leave the night before, likely during the reception, or dance the night away and leave at around 4am or so. I can do it either way as long as there's a Starbucks somewhere. I will need caffeine at some point, and I don't want to deal with 7/11 coffee. Blech.



So by now you should know about the whole ordeal with Paris Hilton. She had to go to jail for driving with a suspended license after getting a DUI. She deserved it. Then she got out of jail after something like 5 days to go to house arrest which was counter to the original judge's ruling, i.e. not allowed, and of course now she's back in jail. I'm loving this. All of it. As I have said before, she's a useless piece of fluff. She may be a smart girl, but she completely wastes it. She could probably be attractive if she gained a little weight so she wasn't 90 pounds. The problem is that she expects all this special treatment, and then she gets it, and she's completely spoiled. She was apparently dragged out of the courtroom as she was being thrown back in jail, screaming for her mommy. I have absolutely no pity for her. If I tried to pull any of the crap she's done, my parents would probably disown me and help the authorities lock me up. DUI? I'm not that stupid in the first place. I know I've got a crazy low tolerance for alcohol, that's why I don't drink. But driving on a suspended license? Really? There's no way she didn't know when it was supposed to be reinstated. And besides, this is Paris Hilton we're talking about: hire a frickin' driver!!!! She tried to use the stupidest defense in the book, "I didn't know..." and then she tried to buy a Get out of Jail Free card. Listen honey, they just don't exist. Not in real life. Not even in my version of Monopoly (I lost them all, I was collecting them to try to use in real life). So, suck it up, deal with the fact that you have serve your time (all 45 days instead of a shortened sentence), and Grow Up!!!



Now that I've ranted a bit about how much I really don't like her and everything Paris Hilton stands for, I can actually talk with a level head about what's going on. Supposedly, and I don't know how true any of this is, she's serving a much harsher sentence than is really necessary. Honestly, I'm not sure where the law actually falls on jail time for what she actually did, but I am aware that she is being made an example out of. She's a huge public figure, for God only knows what reason, the only credits she has to her name are a bad horror movie, a reality TV series and a sex tape. But nearly everyone has that stuff anymore. I'm thinking of getting dirty myself and making a bad horror movie. (You though I was going to say sex tape didn't you? Not my style.) The only other reason she's famous is because she's an heiress and because she's caused so much gossip and controversy ever since that sex tape came out.



I can't talk about this anymore. It's pissing me off, however, in other exciting news, I think I'm learning to touch-type. I type about 40 wpm, but I still look at the keys when I type. But if I just stop looking and let myself stop thinking about it, I can actually almost type with me eyes closed. (I just did that sentence, but I had to edit the Y's because I had put in U's accidentally. Oops! but not bad, eh?)



But I'm so neurotic about it all that I just have to stop thinking about it....



I had a training session for work today. I had to go to the learning center and learn how to be a shift supervisor. I already know a lot of it, so this was really just a refresher course, but it's still required, and the people there were kinda cool. I'm excited about this promotion. As you can tell...




Question of the Day: How did you learn to type?

Maybe Baby

This movie isn't great. It isn't really very good either. It's funny, in it's way, especially if you know people who have gone through any kind of fertility treatments, and it's real, in that Hollywood way (people are still too beautiful, and things just a little too outlandish). But what I really love about this movie is it's cast. Everyone plays their roles well, but when you look at who they are and what they've done since then, I find this movie even more amusing. At the point this movie was made, most of the supporting cast was either A-list cameos (i.e. Emma Thompson or Rowan Atkinson), or what I find really funny, C-list actors, who now, are almost edging onto A-list. For example, Tom Hollander plays the director who is part Welsh, part Scot, part god only knows what else, all rolled up into this obnoxious, drug-addled, prat. Matthew Macfadyen plays a complete wanker of a boss, and Kelly Reilly makes a small cameo as an actress towards the end of the film. If any of those names are familiar, it's because they make up half the cast of Pride & Prejudice. Even the two main characters have TV shows, Joely Richardson was on Nip/Tuck for 3 years, and Hugh Laurie is the wonderful, gruff yet lovable House MD.

It's not a great movie, it has it's moments, but when you know where the people interact beyond this screen, it's a lot funnier.