Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Blind Side

I still haven't seen New Moon, I'm kind of proud of that fact because it minimizes my twi-hard appearance significantly. I am not trying to be a twi-hard, so I'm looking for a way to appear as non twi-hard as possible after the New Moon red carpet premiere.

SO, this weekend I went to the $4.50 matinee with Josie to watch The Blind Side. The movie scored a 74% on the tomameter. This doesn't sound like a high enough rating to spend money on in this frugal economy, but I really enjoyed the movie and am quite satisfied with my decision to watch it this weekend.

The movie was really good. I teared up, and I know many others who did as well. The main character, Michael Oher, has a story that makes you love him. He has been tossed around or passed off most his life, leaving him somewhat illiterate and in high school. By luck, luck driven by selfish ulterior motives, Michael is admitted to a Christian school where he sticks out like a fly in milk. The football coach sees him when he is brought along to the school by a man hoping to get his son enrolled, and immediately the coach wants Big Mike for the football team, so he convinces the board that it is their "Christian duty" to admit him and give him a chance for an education that the system has failed to provide him with. The coach is disappointed when Michael goes out for football and sucks due to lack of any training in the sport. But, with the right help, Michael can be an incredible player.

The Touhy's adopt Michael into their family after inviting him over for one night when they realize he has no home, and inviting him to stay because they begin to love him like family. With the help of the Touhy's, Michael discovers his potentials academically as well as athletically, and is being recruited by some big NCAA teams in the south.

It is a true story, so no matter how cliche aspects of the plot might be, that's because humans are often easy to predict and the story should not be faulted for that. That being said, I really enjoyed the hardcore Christian Republican backdrop because it wasn't repulsive as it often is portrayed in media. This southern family seems a lot more atypical than I expected yet the characters do still embrace the cliche stereotypes--football loving, God loving, wealthy white family consisting of a dad (who played college ball at Ole Miss), mom (former cheerleader), daughter (cheerleader) and son (a great athlete); that just all screams American cliche, but I liked them all none the less. I especially loved the apparent hatred toward Tennessee. I have had a strong distaste for this school/team since 2000 when a high school teacher thrust his love for the Volunteers onto his class and referred to us as his "Volunteers." Bleh, the memories make me nauseous.

I digress. To conclude, The Blind Side is a really great story that gives you hope. As a true story, it brings out a selfless and loving side of humans you rarely see. I loved the Touhy family, especially the mom, who was driven by a strong desire to truly help someone. Not just for selfish gain or appearance, but because she knew she had the resources and therefore no excuse not to do everything she can to give this young man a life he desreves.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Moon LA premiere

Monday November 16 was the New Moon Premiere in Westwood, and I hear something like 10,000 people were on the streets hoping to get a glance of the stars on the red carpet. Crazy!!! Even crazier, I was there.

Jessica and I are both fans of the books, and since I'm unemployed and have nothing much going on in my life, and Jessica was able to request the days off of work, I decided we should go to Westwood to check out the "pop culture phenomenon"(as Jojo on the Radio refers to it). Neither of us have been to a premiere, so we didn't know what to expect. We got into Westwood at 6am, and found ourselves on the corner of Broxton and Weyburn in front of the two theatres short there after. There we would remain for the next 14 hours. Well, more or less. We met some great people while we were there and so we took turns saving spots so we could get food, stretch our legs, use the bathroom, and just check the scene out.

I'd say the experience of the whole event was totally worth it. I mean it was crazy, females of all ages screaming hysterically and pushing and shoving like they're trying to get away from a rabid animal, but still kind of fun. The people were the rabid animals. I know that doesn't sound fun, but it was. As an avid observer of people, this was one of those situations where you see the "real" side come out, like Mardi Gras. Worth at least one experince, maybe more if you really like taking risks (our find yourself unemployed and therefore having a lot of free time to fill).

There were Twi-hards camped out since the Thursday before in order to get a ticket to the red carpet, and others who came from out of state or country to stand on the street where we were. Jessica and I were behind a some expereinced movie premierers from Riverside (I.E. represent!), to our left was a woman who drove out from Arizona by herself, to our right were two women who flew out from Alabama, and behind us were two women from Denmark.

As the day wore on, the crowds grew. At 6, when we got there it was just a few of us on the street across from the theatre, but by the time of the premiere the sidewalks were so packed that you could no longer move. This is literally what it looked like where we were (bc this picture is about two feet to the right of where we were). But we could see the town cars and limos arrive, and wathced and heared Jojo from KIIS FM interview some stars. We saw all the twilight stars (werewolves, cullens, volturi, swans, and everyone else), plus some Glee stars (Lea Michele, Kevin McHale, and Mark Salling), Jennifer Love Hewitt with Jamie Kennedy, 50cent, and I'm sure others but I'm too tired to remember.
The best moment of the night was seeing Robert Pattinson <3 I love his smile, and his British accent! He was great to his fans, visiting us and signing autographs. I touched his hand! Definitely did not expect to see myself scream like a teeny bopper when I saw him, but I did.

I found some video and photos of the people we were with, there were so many reporters interviewing fans. Jessica was interviewed by some European station, we'll probably never see that video haha.

Our photos from the event are here. I didn't bring my camera (ok, very little planning went into this and for some reason I thought I shouldn't bring my camera because I figured I wouldn't see anything, I know I'm stupid you don't have to make me feel worse), and Jessica's started show low battery before the stars arrived so there aren't a lot of pictures. If I do this again I'm definitely coming better prepared.

The night ended with hot dogs at The Stand with Josie. Can I just say that I love Westwood. I think I just love college cities, and cities with big buildings and lots of coffee shops.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Alien Jerky

Baker, CA is more than just a giant thermometer off I-15, it is also home to delicious alien Jerky.

Last July my family stopped in Baker after being intrigued by signs advertising Alien Jerky off I-15. We expected a cheesy roadside attraction--which it very much is, complete with a car full of aliens in front of the store

but there is something in that Jerky that had us devouring it in hours and craving it ever since. I asked my mom if we could drive back to Baker just for some Jerky and although I'm convinced she would have enjoyed that, she didn't do it. Of course, when Angel and I decide to go to Vegas I informed her that we had to stop at this place. We went and enjoyed ever minute of our brief twenty minute stop, and one day later my family has already finished a bag of the jerky. I bought the turkey jerky, which I'm loving and finding it very hard to conserve when I just want to feel it all in my belly. My older brother, who loves hot things, asked me to buy him the "colon cleaning hot" flavor and I dare say he has finally discovered how much heat he can handle. "Man, colon cleaner is right, that stuff is insane...Richard tried a tiny piece and almost cried."
The Sweet and Spicy is my favorite aside from the Turkey. I think I just love things that incorporate hot and sweet, like the Carribbean Chicken sandwich at Baker's--LOVE IT!

Anyways, to conclude, I reccommend you stop by and buy yourself some Alien Jerky on your next drive to Vegas. The packages are 4 oz bags, at $8, or 3 packages for $20.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Raising Canes Chicken Fingers

New Orleans caused me to fall in love with two chicken places: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, and Raising Canes Chicken Fingers.
The former being everywhere there is a KFC to compete with, and the latter being only in 13 states. When I left New Orleans I was beyond heart broken over saying good bye to Raising Cane's, not even Popeyes delicious one million times buttered biscuits could take away the pain of losing Cane's Sauce and the moist and tender Chicken Fingers I dip in it.
Imagine my surprise when I spot the familiar red oval reading Raising Cane's on Flamingo road in Las Vegas last July. Unable to stop there to eat then, I was determined to return to Vegas soon to reunite with my love.
Last night we reunited for the most delicious meal of chicken fingers, fries, and texas toast I have had since leaving New Orleans in May.

Only 215 miles stands between me and Raising Cane's, we shall be together again soon.

Edit, 11/09/09: I win! @Raising_Canes has acknowledged my allegience. "A True Caniac! RT @ccrollins: - 215 mile drive is totally worth some @Raising_Canes"