Friday, May 29, 2009


Last night I went to Bay Street in Emeryville to see a midnight showing of the new Pixar movie, Up. It was, AWESOME! Watch the preview! Then watch the movie.
It was wonderful to be watching the movie in Emeryville (home to Pixar Studios) with wonderful friends (Susan, Laurelei, and Kate) and the movie was amazing, which is to be expected from Disney/Pixar.
The short film before the movie is titled Partly Cloudy, and it is a cute film about clouds and storks, and the little baby people and animals the clouds create for the storks to deliver. That summary does no justice to the actual film, but trust me it is adorable. I teared up a little when a little rainy day cloud almost loses his stork friend to a sunny day cloud. *sniff*
The movie Up has a heavy beginning. Think Bambi.
But it is filled with great humor, as Susan put it. My favorite character is a dog named Doug. A talking dog named Doug. His owner designed a collar that allows him to verbally communicate. One of my favorite lines from the movie is when Doug knocks on Mr. Fredrickson's door after the house floats into the air courtesy of helium filled balloons.
Doug (in robotic voice): "I was hiding under your house because I love you. Let me stay."
There is also one great squirrel joke from the movie that I won't repeat because I could never do the joke justice.
Reasons why I love Pixar:
1) The films are great for kids and adults.
2) The attention to details. The colors of the balloons especially impressed me. In one scene, when Mr. Frederickson's house is floating up into the sky out of the city, the balloons are reflected into a little girl's skyscraper room and it looks so real.
3) The humor. In this movie, the characters each add an element of humor that takes away some of the seriousness of the tragedy that started the movie. There is a good balance of humor and seriousness.
4) Character growth. The characters grow and evolve and learn new things about themselves. It's really neat to watch the character evolution in this film.
4) The Bay Area references. Look out for Fenton's Creamery in this movie.

Overall, I want to go see this movie again tonight, and tomorrow night, and the next night. I never saw Wall-E, but I've seen every other Disney/Pixar movie and I'd put this one near the top of list of favorites.

Friday, May 15, 2009


It seems like just yesterday Jessica and Amy were introducing Amanda and I to sushi at Fuji's in Davis, CA. The two white girls being introduced to sushi by our Asian friends, so cliche.

But it wasn't yesterday, it was over three years ago and since then I can never get enough sushi.
On Tuesday I went out with my favorite PJ's co-workers, Anne(belle), E-dawg, and Stella. We went to Kyoto on Prytania (next to Creole Creamery). The food was great, the service was alright, the atmosphere was nice, and the company was the best!
We started off with some Miso soup

Anne and E bought Pokey Salad

Then we let the sushi roll! I ordered a Sarah Roll and a Stella Roll, I forget what the others ordered. The Sarah Roll had something spicy red sauce on the top that I had to remove with my chopsticks, I'm weak sauce when it comes to spicy.

It was Stella's first sushi experience

What a delightful evening it was. I'm going to really miss these gals, and I know they'll miss having me around as their moral compass.
After dinner we bought some Abita (Purple Haze and Strawberry) and chilled out on the front porch talking. That front porch has not gotten nearly as much use as I would have hoped.
Tuesday night will be one of my favorite New Orleans memories. So many things I like in one evening: sushi, friends, front porches, and beer.

Monday, May 11, 2009

double feature: 17 Again and Ghost of Girlfriends Past

After my stroll along Magazine Street, I met my friend Anne(belle) for an evening at the cinema.
We went to Clearview Mall for a 7:25pm showing of 17 Again. Before the movie, though, we had some delicious mall foodcourt Chinese food.
I had some Honey Chicken, it was so good! There is something so satisfying about a plate of Chinese food, I don't know what it is. Of course, I got more food than I could handle (despite my over three mile walk earlier in the day!) and so I'm glad the meal was followed with sitting in a dark room for a couple hours. It allowed me to hide the food baby from the public.
As for the movie, AMAZING! I know what you're thinking, "Yeah, right" and that thought is soaked in sarcasm, but you are WRONG! May I remind you that you should never judge a book by it's cover. In this case, the "cover" refers to the movie poster:

You are probably thinking this is just going to be another High School Musical movie, since poor Zac will not be able to escape that image for a long time, but really it's more like a better version of Freaky Friday with Jamie Lee Curtis. Only, I think it is far more comedic and enjoyable.
I was one of you, unbelievers. I had numerous friends tell me how good the movie is and I smiled and sarcastically said "sure" not really believing it could be anything but mediocre.
When the film was being heavily promoted before release I kept hearing about how this role was "a more mature role" it was chosen by Zac because he wanted to do something more challenging. I luaghed and thought, "how different could this movie be? Disney is always going to be Disney."
I was a fool! After seeing the movie I understand. I'm not saying it's Oscar worthy, but it is many steps up from HSM. Anne and I both REALLY enjoyed the movie.

After the movie we went to Cafe du Monde for some donuts
So yummy :D
While at the very suburban (think clean floors, older people, families, and a mostly white skinned clientele) Cafe du Monde in Metairie, Anne asks, "Want to see another movie?" and I was all game for that plan. Thus, we returned to Clearview for movie number 2. This time around was "Ghost of Girlfriends Past."
I didn't love it. I do really enjoy watching Matthew McConaughey on the big screen, but unlike "How to lose a Guy in 10 Days" and "The Wedding Planner" (my two fav MM movies) I was not left satisfied with the way this movie unraveled or ended. The movie is some loose translation of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and revolves around one Connor Meed, a total womanizer. We learn that this is largely the result of his uncle's influence who lived his whole life as a swinging bachelor. Of course, Connor would never have become this way if he hadn't been too nervous in middle school to ask his bff/love of life Jenny (Garner) to dance with him, and instead an older student dances with her and they kiss, USING TONGUE! So scandalous!
So anyways, the movie takes Connor through his girlfriends of past, present, and future, and basically shows him what everyone else in his life knows: he is a total self-centered douche who vows to never spoon, his only interest is in forking.
Without divulging details of the end (as though you couldn't predicted the end for yourself) I will say that by the time he finishes up his time with the ghost of girlfriends past, I was really hoping he and Jenny did not end up together. In romantic comedies I really want to root for first love to to work out, but the way he treats Jenny you really just want to see her live happily ever after and him to continue to live a empty life of one night stands. I mean, it's what he likes so it's not like it'd be that miserable for him.
I will relate this to Big and Carrie in Sex and the City. I was one who, after leaving Carrie at the alter (neh, the library foyer), I never wanted to see Big again. I don't care what the Big-Carrie loyalists think, Big is a total jerkface. The wedding incident was not the first jerkface thing, and I seriously doubt it will be the last. He has never treated Carrie right, not like Aidan anyways. But oh, Carrie cheated on Aidan with no good Big. Then that doesn't work out because Big is a jerk. GAH! Seriourly, people talk about how Bella is a weak female character because she is so connected to Edward, and so protected by him, but I think she has better sense then Carrie Bradshaw.
Ok, serious digression. In conclusion:
17 Again: go see it!
Ghost of Girlfriends Past: don't waste your money

Sunday, May 10, 2009

lovely day on Magazine Street

I have so many things to talk about. With only a short time left in New Orleans, I'm trying to squeeze so many things into so few days.

On Saturday I spent the morning working my last shift at the PJ's Coffee @ Stern Hall
This is where my barista career all began. *tear*

That was followed by a lovely walk through Audubon Park and then a near three mile stroll a long Magazine Street with Lynda. It was our last full weekend in New Orleans, so we wanted to just take it in together.
Here are some pictures from Audubon.
I love how these ducks, in an attempt to run away from me, formed a nice straight line along the bank.
I love how spring brings out so much green!
We stopped at a few boutiques and shops on Magazine, but mostly enjoyed the beautiful weather outside. As a pre-lunch snack we stopped for cupcakes and Bee Sweet Cupcakes.

Lynda got the coconut cupcake.
While I opted for a more Southern appropriate praline cupcake.
They were no Love at First Bite, but still looked pretty. The icing was not very smooth and fluffy, it was hard (but not too much). the cake was not exceptional either. The only options were chocolate or vanilla. I like to have more options.

Well after that we had lunch at Whole Food's. We got to listen to some live jazz while we shopped. I love that about this place.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Soloist

After some thought, I remember that my thoughts went from "wow this is great" to "why isn't it ending?" about when the movie uses Hurricane Katrina footage to "date" the movie. It is kind of offensive to be sitting in a movie theatre, in New Orleans--where things are NOT fully recovered from Katrina--and watch footage of people on top of their roofs screaming for help.
After that things went downhill. Here are some bad reviews on the movie: rottentomato, and some other site that has obscenely strong hatred toward the movie

The Soloist

I don't go to the movies very often because they cost so much money, but every once in awhile I will fork over the $8-$10 to sit down in a dark room and watch a two hour movie. Because this does not happen often, when it does happen I expect AMAZING things. With The Soloist, I'm not convinced I saw the "AMAZING" happen.
I wanted to like the movie. After the first 40 minutes I thought "this has the potential to being a really great movie, Oscar worthy." But then the movie dragged on for another hour!
Now I'm going to be quite honest and say that I'm not sure why I suddenly felt like the movie was dragging. I think it comes from: 1) the introduction of a new character, one Graham Claydon, whom I despise; 2) the pushiness of journalist Steve Lopez to change Nathaniel in spite of Nathaniel's contentedness with life; 3) Lopez's condemnation of LAMB director and boldness in telling him (a man who works with homeless people on a daily basis) that he doesn't know what he is doing. GAH! give me a break Mr. Reporter, straighten out your own life before you start trying to fix someone else's.
I do not, like the character of Graham Claydon in the movie. He is a Christian stereotype that I do not approve of. I hate it when movies have a "Christian stereotype" because it, like all stereotypes, only puts fuel to the fire. Graham Claydon gives a bad name to Christians, I wish there were more Christ-glorifying characters in movies.
I guess those character flaws aside the movie was pretty interesting and eye opening. I never before saw the pandemic of homelessness in LA. I knew the community existed, but it was out of sight, out of mind. Additionally, the desire that Steve Lopez has to help Nathaniel are unselfishly driven, he does it out of love so I shouldn't be angry with him. It's like when you have a friend who is hurting him/herself. You can't demand that friend to stop or change because ultimately what the friend needs is to realize for him/herself that what he/she is doing is actually hurting. Before he/she will change, he/she needs to acknowledge that something is wrong (or missing). You can lead a horse to water, but you can't force him to drink.
I have found this post to be good for me, I feel better about the movie now.

I also really enjoyed reading this review. I think maybe another part of my dislike of the movie comes from the depression it ignites.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry

As most of you can probably relate, I love free stuff. This has become a bit of a downfall in college and in my post college years because it means I am more likely to eat crappily. At work, for example, I get a free pastry so of course I take advantage of that every shift. Even though pastries are sugary, fattening, and have no real nutritional value, I choose to eat them on a regular basis. I also get free soda. In college I had nearly stopped my soda intake for 4 years, but all that is a waste because now I'm addicted to Coke Zero and Sprite Zero. I hate you stupid genetically engineered sweetener that makes the diet taste just as good as the regular!
Now my "acceptable soda" scope has broadened because today I tried Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry. There were people handing them out for free at the corner of Canal and Bourbon, what was I supposed to do, say no? Yeah right! Free means my money stays my money so I'll take you free samples and I'll love you!
Ignatius likes Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry
And so do I

The taste is about as good as any diet drink can be. It tastes a lot like regular, but you still get a weird diet aftertaste that I can't quite understand. But I like drinks without sugar. It doesn't yet bother me that the acid from the carbonation is probably destroying my insides...

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co.

Seriously, this is my fourth or fifth time eating at New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Co., I can't get enough of it. I usually go for the Hickory Bacon Cheeseburger because I have a weakness for bacon (everything tastes better with bacon), but I have also tried the Big Ch-easy and loved it!
The restuarant is nice, you order your food at the counter (like a Sizzler-->once my family's version of "classy" eating) but the cashier hands you a number and a server will bring it out to you. The food comes without toppings, but there is a small bar with lettuce, raw onion, tomato, and pickles that you can add to your plate. All the burgers come with garlic fries, DELICIOUS! I love garlic fries, I'm so sad that it wasn't until college that I learned of this marvelous creation. The fries here are more like wedges and the garlic seasoning they use is superb. I try to wipe off every last bit of it because I don't want to see anything wasted. Surprisingly, my plate was left nearly spotless because I devoured my burger and fries without hesitation. I didn't know my stomach could still handle that much food.
Of course the devouring would not be possible had I not been able to rinse with a delightfully cool beverage. For a drink I always order a tea. Your cashier hands you a cup and the fountain drinks and teas are out in the dining area. You get to drink endless tea while you dine. The tea options are unsweetened, sweetened, or raspberry. I generally get a mix of the three, 3/4 unsweetened, 1/8 sweetened, and 1/8 raspberry. I love tea.
Today they had a soft serve ice cream machine in the dinning space. I think this must be either a) new, or b) seasonal. Since it is now consistently in the 70s-80s ice cream provides a much needed cool down. And I'm pretty sure ice cream can't be bad if it is soft-serve. It's so good you may find yourself wanting to steal your neighbor's cone, such was the case with Natalie.
Overall, the burgers and fries are great. I've also heard great things about their catfish.
Hickory Bacon Cheeseburger!

I generally don't like to mess with a great thing, but I need some plants to counter the meaty goodness so I took my plate to the topping bar where you can decorate your burgers. I added some lettuce and tomato.

Oh how I miss you Mr. Hickory Bacon Cheeseburger, but you are now safe in my stomach and I am a happier person because of that.

Price: Hickory Bacon Cheeseburger-$8.95, never ending beverage bar-$1.95, soft serve ice cream-FREE
Additional: Every time I've been here the service has been really great. Actually I think I've had the same server at least 3 times and she is really friendly. If you go at non-peak hours she'll offer to refill your drinks for you.