Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gnomeo and Juliet

o-em-GEEEEEE

Gnomeo and Juliet trailer has been released!

Remember that time I saw a sneak peek and blogged about how much I liked it? No? Well you clearly are not a loyal follower and should consider browsing the archives.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Westside Foodfest

Today, I bring you food. Lot's of delicious, gourmet, food truck food.

As you might imagine, the IE isn't exactly rocking the food variety. We do have near every chain restaurant imaginable west of the Mississippi, but outside that we offer very little. Angel and I have been chowing down at Arby's for the last month because after I introduced Angel on a warm summer day to the delectable curly fries and roast beef sandwich, she was hooked.

However, today we made the hour drive to Venice to partake in the first annual Westside Food fest.


I heard about the event on the morning news and was immediately excited because I could fulfill my food truck dreams. I won't drive out to LA just for a food truck I haven't tried, so today I could sample several and make important decisions on which to pursue on a future date. Because Angel and I are planners, we decided beforehand which trucks were especially intriguing and what on the menu we should split before we left.

To give you a picture of the event, imagine 14 of LAs best gourmet food trucks in one location. And if you still can't picture it, feast your eyes on these pictures from the day.

Ahn-Joo Citrus Chicken skewers and Spicy chilled buckwheat

the skewers took a bit long to make, but they and the noodles were wonderful.

Vizzi Heirloom Tomato Piadina

delicious, and when the food was taking a little long to make (but not even long compared to Ahn-Joo) they gave Angel and I free cookies. Lovely customer service :)

Fishlips


Very good for sushi on the go, the fastest service we received besides the frozen lemonade. I love sushi, all kinds, and especially crunchy rolls. The roll combo was perfect for Angel and I since we were trying to eat a little bit from each truck, but also wanted to make sure we had a variety.

The Munchie Machine The Green Bird- turkey, pesto, and Roma tomatoes with Swiss cheese on ciabatta bread.


The most fun truck, the workers give free high-5s and offer free refills, all you have to do is ask. Besides the service, the food was exceptional as well. I was afraid it would be too bland, but it definitely was not. I LOVE sandwiches so much!

Dels Frozen Lemonade

Frozen lemonade on a nice summer day, hello! How can you go wrong with that?

Komodo Truffle fries


Angel and I stood there at our last truck wondering, what should we get? It all looks so delicious, so how does one choose? At first I saw garlic fries and thought, "man, I haven't had garlic fries in forever! let's get those" then to my surprise I see truffle fries and think "well, fries can't get any more gourmet than that!" Thus, decision made. I do not regret that decision in any way.

So, day complete. Well, not really.

Now day complete.

Could you imagine a better way to spend the day? No? Well, how about adding The Princess Bride to the mix. That's right, August 21, the outdoor cinema food fest will be an evening of The Princess Bride and food trucks! SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Eureka

I know I talk a lot about TV and movies and stuff unrelated to food on this blog, but I hope you can enjoy all that I explore in the world, even if most of it is not food related.

So, I previously mentioned that Eureka is one of my favorite SyFy shows and I stand by that. The new season started a week ago and I'm hooked. Here is the thing about this show that this season might drive me crazy while simultaneously sucking me in even deeper: nothing on this show is ever finished.

The story lines are always changing and because it is in the science fiction genre, time travel and space time continuum is not out of the question. So, all this great stuff happens in the first 10 minutes of the new season and I'm thinking: "woohoo!" and then five of the main characters get pulled back in time. When they finally realize what has happened they figure out a way to go back but not without some issues. In their time they realize that the consequences of their travel are inconsequential in the grand scheme, but life altering in their own lives. And now they might be stuck in the alternate timeline forever! NOOOOO!!!!!!

On the one hand, I hate this because this is not the first time this show has pulled tricks like this. In the first season there is some time travel and as a result we see some relationships that had developed disappear. I dislike how it toys with my emotions. On the otherhand, I can appreciate how the constant changes and unpredictablitly of the show keeps me on my toes. It also shows some originality that is absent in many shows.

However, my love for the show is great so despite how it messes with me emotionally, I shall continue to watch and you all should consider doing the same.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ktb Cupcakes


My friend, Katie the vegan, is an amazing cupcake creator.
She makes the most amazing looking and tasting vegan cupcakes, and I can truly say they are the best I eva had. Behold the glory.





FYI, those fries are pound cake artisitically designed to resemble fries. We were all fooled! But, pleasantly surprised when we took a bite. I believe the design inspirations came from Hello, Cupcake and What's New, Cupcake.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Community

Today I went to Raleigh Studios on Melrose for a Community Screening and Promo Shoot and it was amazing. I previously mentioned my love for this show and if you are not yet watching it, you are missing out on something special.

The day started off standing in a line outside for what seemed like forever but in retrospect was only 2 hours (still a lot, but actually really short for these types of events). On the bright side of waiting in line, the line was at the studio lot entrance so we could see everyone who entered and exited the lot including Kevin Bacon (The Closer is filmed at Raleigh) and someone who I swear looked like Desmond Harrington. I can't confirm the Desmond siting, but if not then this person could totally be his stand-in.

So after the wait they finally shuffled us (the 80 or so fans) into a screening room where Joel Mchale and Ken Jeong were already hanging out. The day proceeded to be a dream. Joel Mchale, so close, I could reach out and touch him. I didn't, because that would be creepy, but I could have. I was seated in the third row almost smack dab in the middle so watch out for me next Thursday when the clips air during the Community Fanfest Night.

In the above photo (taken by Joel Mchale and posted on his twitter) you can't see me because it only catches the first two rows, but you can see my moms bright blue shirt in the back.

The greatest moment of the day, for me, was when Ken Jeong hilariously tried to make fun of people based on where they were from. He asked the audience, I raised my hand, he called on me, and I said "Cucamonga" and happiness followed. He is SOOO hilarious, I can't even describe it. He and Joel were both always on, throwing out jokes and making fun of each other and people in the audience. It felt like hanging out at a party with a bunch of friends. After Ken fumbles (his jokes regarding "where are you from?" involved him akwardly and uncomfortably stumbling through none funny comebacks that are made hilarious by him because he is really good and feigning bad) Joel looked at me and apologized for Ken's comments (jokingly) and after that I felt great. The remainder of the day Ken referenced audience members by their locale (Walnut, Rancho-me :), and Mesa).

The pure ecstasy of being so close to these people wasn't enough, the day only got better. We filmed a number of wrap-arounds for next week and after the finished shot for each scene, Joel and Ken always asked for one more. During that last shot the scene would go on for a long time as the two would improvise and the audience went along with it like it was scripted and we knew exactly what we were doing. At one point they had all of us all on our feet filing out to the surprise of the crew and Joel and Ken.

It was so much fun. I am sad none of my friends could join me, this whole year has been sprinkled with so many moments of me asking "did that really just happen?" It is a fantabulous life I am living.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Flight of the Conchords


This post is a week late, but here are some pictures from the Flight of the Conchords show Angel and I attended at the Hollywood Bowl May 30. The openers included: Kristen Schaal, Arj Barker, and Eugene Mirman. All three were funny, I especially enjoyed Kristen's Law and Order SVU sketch and Eugene's tea party advertisements.

bret

jermaine


Grant it our seats were far, they were also cheap (still unemployed) and we still fully enjoyed the show. Just to finally see them live was great, neither Angel nor I were picky about where we saw them from. They put on a wonderful show.


I haven't seen much of season 2 yet. I know, I shouldn't call myself a fan if I haven't even watched the second season, you all know I have plenty of time to watch other shows. My only excuse is that I am lame. I do own season 2, so I support them, I just am really lame.
On the upside, most of the songs they performed were from season one, and the other songs were just nice little surprises. My favorite songs include Jenny, Albi the Racist Dragon, Business Time, and Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros. New songs that I liked included: Epileptic dog and Oh, Dance, Baby.

Seriously, I love these guys. They have an unparelled ability to make even the most mundane thing hilarious. Mike says it's about the delivery, but I think the New Zealand accent helps. Also, in their case, it's about the banter used to deliver.

Here is a video from the show


In related news, I have a tendecy to name inanimate objects in my life. Don't pretend like you don't have a name for inanimate objects in your life. Well my pretty green Dell is named Albi and my external hard drive is Leggy Blonde, but I can't decide on a name for the phone. So many to choose from, any suggestions?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Glee Live!

It's strange to think that it was almost exactly one year ago that Glee debuted on Fox. I remember watching it and then downloading it from itunes because I loved it. Despite my own lack of musical talent, I love musicals. Whether it be a stage production, a movie, or a television show, if there is singing and dancing I can almost guarantee that I will enjoy it.

Friday, May 21, Angel and I went to Gibson Amphitheater to see Glee in concert. As a forethought I tried to decide how I would judge this performance. It's not like any other show I've seen in concert, do I compare it to the show? Do I expect it to be like watching an episode of TV? No, that'd be silly. I don't want the concert to add any additional storyline, especially since many characters will be absent. Do I compare it to a musical concert? Maybe, I mean they are performing sets from albums, but there is still the issue of storyline and how that measures into the performance. Lastly, do I compare it to the Broadway musical? Well, no. Although the concert will be a musical rendition of a story written (scripted) and the actors/singers will be playing characters, I do not hold these performers to the level I hold a Broadway performer. Lea Michele, yes, but none of the others on the cast have Broadway experience and to be fair Cory Monteith has never blown me away with his singing so I don't expect great things from a live performance (ie an unfiltered version). So I was quite uncertain of what to expect and how I would receive the performance. But, as stated, if there is music and dancing I will mostly likely enjoy it.

Since I'm not sure what base to use to measure the performance, I've decided just to tell you what I liked and/or didn't like.

The opening act, TheLXD, is AMAZING. It is The League of Extraordinary Dancers, and they are some neat to watch. Also, "The other Asian" is in the dance group. I wanted to show you a video so you can see for yourself how awesome they are.


Now for Glee.
Liked: EVERYTHING! Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but seriously the show was great. Here are some pictures of what I liked.

Since the concert is only featuring the Glee club, notably teachers are absent from the line-up :( BUT, the show did feature videos of Will and Sue encouraging the club and introducing performances (Will) and criticizing the Glee club (Sue).
Right before the show started, some Cheerios were going around the auditorium and passing out barf bags. I got one! And when the show started Sue explained

I love the free WMHS barf bag I have.

Now for some of the performances.
Sweet Caroline


Defying Gravity


Boy is Mine


Bad Romance


Beautiful


Bust Your Windows


Dancing With Myself


Jump


A performance by Vocal Adrenaline


A nice duet of Jesse and Rachel


And that is probably enough photos. There were tons more songs, the 70 minute show was jam packed. If I could describe the experience, I'd say it was liking watching New Directions put on a concert. For a couple numbers the cast even walked around the audience. When Rachel (Lea Michele) performs Don't Rain on My Parade, it was very much like the original show performance which had her start from the back of the auditorium and make her way to the stage. Finn (Cory Monteith) actually performed better than I expected. And I'm so excited to hear Santana (Naya Rivera) sing more. Brittany (Heather Morris) provided her usual dumb blonde comedy between sets. Overall, Angel and I were both very impressed with the show.

Disliked: I kept hoping that Matthew Morrison and/or Jane Lynch would surprise the audience with a guest appearance, and that hope was wasted.
Additionally, sometimes the singers did go off key a bit, but in a live performance that is expected to some degree, so I don't at all hold that against them. I merely mention it to for your sake.

To conclude, here is a picture of a message Angel sent to me during intermisssion via jumbo TV screen

You can tell she sent it because the words are all spelt correctly and the proper punctuation is used.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mayflowers

Reasons why I love May:
-Conan O'Brien in Las Vegas
-The Magic Castle twice yearly event
-The Sound of Music production
-Glee at Gibson May 21
-My birthday May 24
-Flight of the Conchords at the bowl May 30

I think that it is genetically engrained (I know that doesn't make sense) in me that May be a wonderful month.
April showers bring Mayflowers, and the Mayflower(s) brought me (pun intended).

Stay stunned friends, it's about to get better than ever before.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Sound of Music

Chaffey High School performed The Sound of Music as the spring musical this year. Kimm was a nun in it, so yay for seeing her on stage.

I don't want to front with y'all, I'm all about honesty, so here is the truth, I have never seen a production of The Sound of Music before this. No Julie Andrews movie. Additionally, I didn't know the von Trapp's were a real family and that the movie is based on Maria von Trapp's memoirs until very recently. Phew, it feels good to get that off my chest.

That being said, I can confess that this was the best performance I have ever seen of The Sound of Music. Chaffey High School drama is pretty great. I'm all about bragging, and the truth is that the department has won national recognition. They were the first to perform a musical version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, ever! Masterson had to get special permission from Roald Dahl's estate to make that happen. They also won USA Weekend's Showstoppers award, which brought them to the High School Musical 2 premiere. Additionally, Dreamworks asked them to be the first school to perform Shrek the Musical, but when that bombed on Broadway they decided against it. More recently however, Disney has asked Masterson (the drama director) if the school would do the first ever stage production of Camp Rock 2. Camp Rock 2 debuts late this summer on Disney Channel, and Disney would like Chaffey to put together a production this summer to promote the movie. And, there is talk of the JoBros and Demi Lovato stopping by. Whaaaaaaaaaa? True story, like I said I am all about honesty (and bragging).

So anyways, now that I've discussed all the non-TSOM stuff, let's get back to what this entry is really about. The show was great. The cast is comprised of a variety of people, non-students and students, but the cast as a whole was strong. Masterson is all about creating an experience for the audience, so before the show the German soldiers actually walk the corridor with stern disapproving looks. There is barbed wire set up out front the amazingly beautiful Gardiner W. Spring Auditorium* where the shows are, and a siren is set off. It is so fun. But, instead of me trying to explain how marvelous it was, you should watch the video below. It is the megamix the cast performed.

And here is a link to a trailer for the show.
Gardiner W. Spring Auditorium is so beautiful.

It is the auditorium on campus, so I have spent many hours there and it never ceases to amaze me. It is a big auditorium, and the shows can be pretty crowded at times, which is kind of insane. Also insane, this is the auditorium where the von Trapp's performed their first American concert way back in 1942.

Oh, and John Stamos was there Friday night
*gasp*
I missed Uncle Jesse!

Ok, enough already. Since the show is now over, my suggestion to you all is to make it down this summer for the Camp Rock 2 premiere!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Magic Castle

Susan and I sent another lovely Saturday night at the Magic Castle, thank you very much Susan's dad.

I went dress shopping for the event. I love dress shopping. Man, being in a sorority really changes a person. I suppose I should consider it a blessing in disguise that we only go twice a year to the Magic Castle, otherwise I might go dress shopping a lot more often.

Anyways, back to the Magic Castle. No celebrity sitings this time around, but there was some great entertainment. The host in the Palace, David Deeble, was hilarious. We also saw a mentalist in the Hat and Hare Lounge. Susan seemed unimpressed by his ability to guess the card she had in her hand, but I ate it up. If I try and think about it logically, I'll just be disappointed and/or confused.

So, I have been noticing that the performers in the Palace are getting younger, or rather we have seen a lot of young performers in that room. Remember that Mickey Mouse magician, he was like 18 years old! So yeah, I feel highly underaccomplished in my life. Also, I'm thinking how can I seduce one of these magicians (not the 18 year old, that would be weird) because I'd like to marry a member of the Magic Castle so I can go there all the time. And then I could go dress shopping all the time! Ah! I like this dream.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pushing Daisies

Pushing Daisies is one of my favorite shows. I could watch it over again and not grow bored of it. Bryan Fuller has this way of creating shows that I love. However, Pushing Daisies is different than Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls, it is more fairytale and dreamy.

Ned is a pie maker who owns The Pie Hole. His own mother loved to make pies, after she died when Ned was 10 years old Ned was sent to a boarding school by his father. Ned would sneak into the kitchen at night to bake himself a pie to remind him of his mother, and so his love for pie making begins. However, pie making is only his day job, he works with a private investigator, Emerson Cod, solving murders.

Ned has a secret.

The reason his pies taste so good and the reason he is good at solving murders is because he can bring life to dead things. Bad fruit becomes ripe and murder victims come back to life when he touches them. Two conditions exist.
- The first is that first touch means life, second touch means dead again, forever.
- The second is that if Ned keeps someone alive for more than 60 seconds, someone else dies in his/her place.

Ned has only kept three living things alive longing than 60 seconds.
1) his dog, Digby. When Ned is 10, Digby is hit by a semi, and when Ned goes to see him he touches him and discovers he has brought his dog back to life.
2) his mother. After she died suddenly in their kitchen, Ned brings his mother back with his newly discovered ability. In her place, his neighbor dies. Later that day, Ned discovers the first condition when his mom kisses him good night only to be made dead again when she touches him.
3) Chuck, aka Charlotte Charles, Ned's childhood friend and sweetheart. After her father died the same day Ned's mother died (Chuck doesn't know Ned killed her father), they are torn apart when Ned is sent to boarding school. They are reunited as adults at a mortuary after Chuck is killed on a cruise. Ned can't bring himself to make her dead again because he selfishly wishes for her to be with him. So begins a story of two people who love each other but are unable to physically touch.

The series follows Ned, Emerson Cod, and Chuck as they investigate murders of bizarre proportions. Season 1 examples include death by crash test dummy and death by scratch 'n sniff. Additional characters include Olive Snook, played by Kristen Chenoweth, the waitress at The Pie Hole who is hopelessly in love with Ned. Lily and Vivian Charles, Chuck's hermit aunts who take her in when her father dies, in earlier days they were a popular synchronized swimming duo known as the Darling Mermaid Darlings.

The show is narrated by Jim Dale. Between his audiobook recordings of the Harry Potter series and this show I have basically fallen in love with this man's voice.

I also find Ned very dreamy. And I would like to have Chuck's closet.

One of my favorite quotes from the show, from episode Girth:
Olive: "How do you know I'm still single?"
Mamma Jacobs: "Well, you wouldn't need all that bait if your belly was full, dear."

Unfortunately, Pushing Daises only survived two half-length seasons on ABC. Since TGIF ended, well more like since Boy Meets World ended because ABC tried to make TGIF last after that but I can't remember any show from that line-up worth recalling. Anyways, since Boy Meets World ended I have not been a fan of ABC series. Pushing Daisies could have been the start of a wonderful round two for me and ABC, but then ABC went and destroyed the show I love. ABC, you and I may be through for good this time.
The only saving grace is that the episodes were sold to the WB and are available online for viewing here so I can recommend it to all of the people I love. I've already sucked AJ and Steph S. into the show...Have you watched it?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

b-a-n-a-n-a-s

Today is a warm day here in Fontucky, a day perfect for banana ice cream and a Summer 2010 mix. Thank you friends :)

I have kept a distance from the kitchen for quite some time now. I am not entirely sure why, but I speculate that the absence of friends who love cooking is partially to blame. In college it was always "let's make dinner!" and now it's like "where should we go for dinner?" My sister loves to bake, so there are always sweets in the house. It actually feels like college all over again, in that regard. However, even in college I was never big on baking.

So, what can get me back into the kitchen? A recipe so simple that I am challenged to take it up and succeed. Failure is not a good starting point for me in the kitchen, so I needed something so easy I couldn't fail. Big thanks to i ate everything for providing the recipe.

Step 1: cut a banana into slices
Step 2: place banana slices on plate, and place plate in freezer for an hour
Step 3: place frozen banana slices in food processor

Step 4: process that stuff up
Step 5: add any additional ingredients for bonus flavor

I added some marshmallow creme (leftover from my sweet potato fries) and peanut butter.
Step 6: eat


The marshmallow creme didn't mix up very smoothly, but other than that little snag things went very well for me today. As I said to Steph, it is blade licking delicious. Just be careful not to hurt yourself if you do lick the blades. I can't imagine there being anything worse than a cut tongue.

On a related note, on Sunday I thought about making gnocchi. It will be done soon, my friends. Diana comes into town around my birthday, so maybe there is a nice, homemade Italian dinner in our future

Monday, May 3, 2010

Conan the legally prohibited from being funny on television tour

Angel and I embark on the greatest Vegas trip to date.


Break from food. Just when I started to delve into the actual content this blog promises...I know you'll forgive me. And, I already have plans to try this, so stay tuned.

Remember that time I gripped about not seeing Conan when he hosted the Tonight Show because my tickets became void when the show was cancelled?

Yesterday, all was made right.


As luck would have it, Angel and I were able to see him last night at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas at no cost to us. True story, I am truly basking in the Vegas hook-ups.

dinner at Dal Toro Ristorante: $0
floor seats to see Conan live: $0

Yes, life is good for the unemployed college graduate every so often. Spontaneity has become a way of life.

So how was the show? In a word: awesome.

The opening act, Reggie Watts, was hilarious. He has a kind of Flight of the Conchords vibe to him with his musical comedy.

The band was energetic and lively, they are so musically talented. I kind of wish they played another song before Conan came out because they are so good.

Conan was better than expected. The individual who acquired the free tickets for us is not a Conan fan and actually had no intentions of going to the show. We convinced him to stay and he left with new respect for Conan. The musical offerings of Conan were very enjoyable and the banter between him and Andy Richter is always comedic. The costume changes allowed him to break out of the primetime TV mold, and the videos scattered throughout poked fun at his termination, unemployment, and the unnamed network execs responsible without being too over the top.

And finally, Deon Cole, the mid-show performer, was hilarious. I was laughing so hard.

The part I most enjoyed? The Walker Texas clips. My favorite segment from Late Night, I was so sad this segment did not make it to the Tonight Show, but am most appreciative of it being on the tour. That Walker, so funny.

So here are some pictures:
La Bamba being licked by Conan


Mike Tyson makes a cameo


I stared at him long enough, I am certain the guy on the right is Lonny Ross.


I feel like someone should pinch me just to make sure I am not dreaming.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Upland Lemon Festival

I thought I'd mix things up a bit and talk about something other than TV and movies. I can hear you gasping in surprise. I was just thinking that there is a world that exists outside Hollywood productions, and you deserve to see it. That's right, I left my house, all for you. You can thank me in the form of comments praising my post and acknowledging my bravery.

The truth is actually that the Hooly and Cindy Show is now officially in production. "The what now?" The Hooly and Cindy Show is the internet project Hooly and I are working on in an effort to kill boredom while exploring the jewel that is the I.E. The first episode had no forethought or preparation, I just knew if we didn't do something soon we'd never do something because our habit of procrastination and laziness would control our inaction. Therefore, enjoy but don't be too critical. Just critical enough that we feel motivated to do another show that is better.



Check out our official blog here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Glee: Madonna

Currently listening to Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna.
Since I saw the pilot episode last May I have been in love with this show, and the music and performances just keep getting better.
I do have one question, is Finn's total discomfort with dancing and performing a character flaw or an actor flaw. I've given Cory the benefit of the doubt because he is cute and maybe dating Taylor Swift, but what do you think?
Also, Will and Emma, can they be together or will Terry come back?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Date Night

I have been awaiting this day for quite sometime. Date Night is finally here! Steve Carell and Tina Fey are finally together and all is well in the world.
I recognize that since I love both Steve Carell and Tina Fey, it's really hard for me to not give a biased positive review of this movie, but I'll try.
On screen chemistry between Steve and Tina (yeah, we're on a first name basis) is great. The characters they play, Phil and Claire Foster, are a New Jersey suburban couple with two children and respectable jobs. The have a comfortable relationship, but you kind of get the impression that they are "great roommates" and no longer an in-love couple. After two of their close friends decide to split because they realize they make great roommates but not a great couple, the Fosters start to wonder if they aren't just like their friends.
In an attempt to mix things up and reignite the flame, they decide to be less predictable on their regular date night and head into the city. When Phil decides to take another couples reservation at a fabulous seafood restaurant, the couple soon discovers that the people they are posing as have been up to some blackmailing and their night turns into a giant game of crazy.
Needless to say, the evening definitely takes them out of the boring pattern of life they were living into something else. The else includes several visits to the shirtless apartment of Hollbrooke (Mark Wahlberg), a sweet vehicle chase that ends with Phil in the New York Harbor, and into a strip club where Claire poses as a stripper/high-class prostitute--complete with a hilarious pole dance scene.
I loved the movie. Grant it the plot line was a bit ridiculous at times, they play a charming couple struggling to light the fire again and that makes them relateable and lovable.
Conclusion Fey and Carell are lovable just because they are, and this movie is great because everything they touch is gold. I'm so glad I saw this movie and I am so glad it didn't disappoint. The reviews have been pretty good, too (EW gave it a B).

AND, the preview segment included a preview for Sex and the City 2! Wow, this totally has me interested in seeing the movie. The details have all been kind of vague up to this point, but OMG, Aiden is back and there might just be some more love triangle problems between Big, Carrie, and Aiden. SCANDALOUS.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Marriage Ref and Parenthood

Is anyone else finding the new NBC 10 p.m. line-up to be great? Who am I kidding, you are all in grad school so none of you has time to obsess over TV like I do. It's ok, since you are all busy training to be lawyers and archivists I have taken it upon myself to watch enough TV for the four of us.


First off, I should clarify that there are really only two new NBC shows picked up as mid-season replacements for the Jay Leno show that I have actually felt compelled to watch. Parenthood is the first show, it is on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. and Ron Howard is a co-executive producer for the show. I for one really like Ron Howard for reasons such as Arrested Development, so I was kind of excited/intrigued when NBC started toting a new Ron Howard show. Don't expect Arrested Development, this show is a family drama, not a comedy. I could give reasons for why I like it, but the more shallow reason is that the series takes place in Berkeley, CA. Now, obvi it doesn't film there or if it does it films in places of Berkeley I never explored, but the set still very much gives a Berkeley feel that I so long for. It also has a pretty recognizable cast, including Laura Graham (Gilmore Girls) and Mae Whitman (Arrested Development, State of Grace). Those are just my two favorites, there are tons more but I care to highlight the two I most enjoy seeing back on TV. In a nutsehll, the show is about parenthood (zing) and I would liken it to a less comedic but still enjoyable Modern Family. It depicts several styles of parenting and follows a family of four adult siblings and each of their expereinces/struggles in parenting.


Next is the Marriage Ref, on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. after the NBC two hours of comedy block containing Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock (all worth viewing). This show is hilarious. It is a kind of reality talk show, basically married couples share a current argument they are inbattled in, and after hearing both sides celebrity judges wieght out the issue, but the Marriage Ref will determine who is in the right and who is in the wrong. The arguments are so ridiculous, and the celeb panel is great at making the arguments ridiculously funny. I can't even really adequately explain the show, but I suppose Ricky Gervais did a great job summing it up when he said: "I feel like someone's put crack in my drank! What is going on? This is the weirdest show I've ever been on."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Currently watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I have mixed reactions to it. On the one hand, I recognize that there are problems with what food is being served at school and that many Americans would benefit from having more healthy diets. On the other hand, I kind of don't really like Jamie Oliver's approach. I know he has good intentions, but he really hasn't tried to put himself in their shoes. It seems like he came to this city with a judgement already made and instead of listening and understanding the cafeteria workers and the school officials, he is gasping and telling them how ridiculous they are. He needs to work on his approach. At the end of this episode he starts crying because he is being misunderstood and they don't understand how great he is and how much he is helping them. It really sounds like he is doing this for him and not them, because he repeatedly talks about how great the work he is doing is.

I want this to be a show that opens people's eyes to how important a healthy diet is and how for healty food to become a priority at schools, so I hope Jamie Oliver becomes more likeable.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Guild

I hope everyone has seen Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, because this next show I'm about to recommend to you is written by and stars Felicia Day (Penny from Dr. Horrible) and Joss Whedan has actually credited The Guild as being the inspiration for Dr. Horrible. If that doesn't sell you on it, then let me share with you a little bit more. The Guild is an online sitcom (award winning) about a guild of gamers who, like all real gamers, spend a ridiculous amount of time in a role playing game. The Kinights of Good is the guild name and it is made up of a diverse range of people, none of them being the fat bald guy living in his parents basement usually associated with such an addiction.

Felicia Day is actually a gamer herself, in addition to being a professional violinist. She brings her knowledge and expereience to the show which had its first season partially funded by fans. During season 2, Microsoft signed an exclusive distribution deal with Felicia Day, so the episodes premiere on Xbox Live.

The first season begins when Zaboo mistakes Codex's online flirtation as being actual flirtation, and shows up at her doorstep to pursue their relationship. Zaboo doesn't seem to understand that Codex is not interested in him. It sounds creepy, but in this show it is more comedic than creepy. After this, Codex decides to call a guild meeting, in person, in hopes that the guild will be able to help her with her Zaboo problems.

The show has now completed 3 seasons, each consisting of around 12 episodes of 4-7 minutes. I started watching last night and I am already finished. I love it. The characters are all so fun, including the mom of three who leaves her kids in the car with the windows cracked while they meet. She is a nut, but a total lovable nut. Actually, she kind of reminds me of Steph S.

For more, check out the youtube page watchtheguild or the website. All the episodes are totally available online, plus they are super cheap to buy on DVD ($12.99).

And, if you need some persuasion, check out this music video.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

top shows

Despite my mild objections, my dad has decided to practice playing piano in the room where I have perched for the last three days writing a paper. So my show watching paper writing has been temporarily halted. "You know, I can't move the piano to another room" says my father, and in so stating this he is implying that I, on my laptop, are very much capable of taking my enjoyment elsewhere. Touché dad, but relocating temporarily would take too much work. I'd rather just do something else and wait for you to finish at 9pm when piano playing in the house is officially prohibited.

For your entertainment (no reference to Adam Lambert), I have decided to construct lists of shows I find worthy of your viewing. I have selected shows in many categories because, like the old jingle goes, "sometimes you feel like a nut, soemtimes you don't." So, you know, depending on your persuaions there is a show for you. I should note, that this list is incomplete and may be ammended and updated in days or years to come.

Comedy Series:
1)Arrested Development - a show killed too soon, as so many of the greats in this list. It does remain a very popular show and is available one season at a time on hulu
2)30 Rock - It has won an Emmy for outstanding comedy series the past three years, and in the fourth season it is obvious that the show still has it. As with all shows, I recommend starting from the beginning and seasons 1-3 are all available via instant queue on Netflix. Some fourth season episodes can be seen online at the NBC website or at Hulu.
3)How I Met Your Mother - it is not quite on the same caliber as the above two comedies, and at times it feels like it drags on unneccessairly (Ted has spent the last five seasons telling his kids the story of how he met their mother, yet we have never met her). Nevertheless, this show has a great cast and enough comedy to keep me coming back for more. I also love the detail, an offhand comment made in one episode, will be explained in a later episode-sometimes a season later, so there does appear to be a great deal of continuity. Recemt episodes can be viewed at cbs.com.
4)Pushing Daisies - a very different kind of comedy series, it is a Bryan Fuller masterpiece that had such a brief lifespan. A story of a pie-maker who can bring people back to life with one touch and put them back to death with a second, I can't believe I have not devoted an entire entry to this show yet. I will have to get working on that, until then the complete first season is currently availbale on thewb.com.
5) Wonderfalls - another Bryan Fuller work, this show was given even less life than his other work and it pains me becasue I love it so. Jay Tyler works at a Niagara Falls gift shop where she lives a mundane life until one day objects with faces begin to talk to her. Sounds silly, but it surprising works. This show is actually on youtube.
6) Dead Like Me- The final Bryan Fuller creation you shall see on this list, until he releases more which will hopefully come as soon as Fall 2010. The show is availble on netflix instant queue and imdb.
7) Friends - always a great show, it is a timeless comedy series that will live on in reruns for many decades to come. I'm sure you have a friend who has the show on DVD and if not then catch it on reruns every night. Sadly, the youtube acoount I was watching the series on has been suspended. I'm sure you can easily find more though.
8) The Office - This show I find is hit or miss at times, but predominately seems to hit the mark. Recent episodes are available on nbc and hulu.
9) Community - The newest comedy series to win me over. I started watching it because I love The Soup's Joal McHale, but I continued to watch it because it is funny. Maybe it is because I am currently experiencing community college life, but this show really hits close to home. Check it out on hulu.

Adult Drama
1) Dexter - it will have you wierdly addicted. Beware of the blood, it is a show about a serial killer, afterall.

SyFy
1) Eureka - this is another show that I can't believe I haven't dedicated a post to yet. I only got introduced to it at the tail end of the last season which finished last summer. It was recommended by Angel who shares in my love for Bryan Fuller, Flight of The Conchords, and Glee, though I wouldn't compare Eureka to any of those. The new season starts this summer, and in anticipation I hope to work through the complete series so look for a post in the coming months.
2) Caprica A Battlestart Gallactica prequel, season one started in January 2010.

Animated series - Comedy
1) The Simpsons- the only show my family has regularly watched and quoted for 20 years. This show does not need me to convince you, chances are you have watched it at some point in your life and enjoyed it. I will say that I love how great it is at satire and how really smart it is. There are just too many great lines from this show. While I will admit that I find some of the older seasons better, I still truly love watching new episodes.
2)Phineas and Ferb I don't know where to find a good number of episodes online, occasionally Disney shares.
3) Invader ZIM - a Nickelodean show that died in its infancy. I recenlty listened to an episode because my video was messed up and laughed so hard. GIR is my favorite.

Musical comedy-
1) Glee - so good! I can't wait until the live concert on May 22nd with Angel


Look at that, it is already 9:36pm, daddy packed up his music book long ago. Time to get back to watching my shows while writing my paper.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Phineas and Ferb

This post was misplaced on another blog. Today, I bring it home to where it belongs.

Disney, you have some hold on me.

But seriously, ALL of you should check out Phineas and Ferb. This Disney cartoon is amazing. Like, once upon a time Nickelodeon was amazing (Rocko's Modern Life, Fairly Oddparents, Jimmy Neutron). Perry the platypus will have you all wishing you had a pet platypus. And the catchy songs will be stuck in your head for weeks. Case in point:


The voice actors include the cute little boy from Love Actually (voice: Ferb) who learns the drums in order to play in the winter show with the little girl who has this amazing voice (voice: Vanessa Doofenshmirtz). How cute is it that in Phineas and Ferb, Ferb has a crush on Vanessa? Other voices come from Disney darlings Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical), Mitchell Musso (Hannah Montana), and Alyson Stoner (Cheaper by the Dozen, Camp Rock, and the unDisney Missy Elliot video). Oh, and Caroline Rhea (Hilda Spellman, Sabrina the Teenage Witch)does the voice of Phineas and Ferb's mother, former one hit wonder, Lindana.
Did I mention that the creators use to write for Rocko's Modern Life? Seriously, this show is amazing!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

bacon and swiss grilled sandwich

Meet my new love.


Grilled cheese has been a favorite for many years. Kraft American cheese with a slice of ham on Holsum bread, that is what my childhood was made of. Ok, actually Holsum bread was a treat that only existed in my house after a trip to Arizona or my aunt Holly had visited, but it set the grilled cheese standard pretty high in my mind.

Over the years, however, my eyes have been opened to a world of many flavors of bread and cheese, and different parts of a pig, so I've developed new cravings. This newest craving consists of sourdough bread (reflection of my love for San Francisco), Swiss cheese (because the Swiss are pretty awesome, and really close to Italy), and bacon (because bacon is good in all situations).

And it is so easy to make. I am not above eating precooked bacon, so all greasy mess is avoided. Sure it doesn't offer the same bacony goodness as fresh cooked bacon, but for someone as lazy as me it offers a delicious lunch requiring little fuss.

I'm also not above muffin mix, and I have recently discovred Fiber One Muffin Mix. Nothing like some dietary fiber to wash my insides after some bacon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gnomeo and Juliet

This movies release date is 2011, how lame. I'm going to a preview of it tonight. I probably will not be allowed to write about it, and what I see tonight will likely be different from what hits theatres in a year, but yay for me previewing a movie tonight!

Gnomeo and Juliet is an animated rendition of Romeo and Juliet involving gnomes. IMDB tells no lies, and was updated within the last week. Emily Blunt and James McAvoy provide their voices to the lead gnomes, and Elton John loans his musical genius to the soundtrack. So, besides that plot of gnomes sounding silly, I think this movie could actually be good if Elton John is onboard. Remember how much you love The Lion King?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This movie is strongly recommended for your viewing pleasure. That is once the animation is complete. I was not expecting it to be so funny. Reminds me of Shrek or Ice Age in that it has a greater appeal to adults than most Disney movies, yet it still is enjoyable for children. I will definitely be paying money to see the final product in 2011.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Caprica

I never watched Battlestar Galactica, and I have never considered myself a fan of science fiction, yet I find myself watching and enjoying the new Syfy series Caprica. I saw many commercials advertising it, read about it several times in Entertainment Weekly, and saw a segment about it on The Soup, so yesterday I started watching the series on Syfy.com.

The show is a prequel to Battlestar Galactica, so anyone who liked that show should love this show. However, whereas Battlestar Galactica developed a large male fan base, this series is formatted in a way that hopes to reach a larger demographic. For people like me who haven't seen Battlestar, Caprica holds its own so we can enjoy the show without feeling like we are somehow missing information.

I really like the show. It is interesting how it takes place in a futuristic world that is far more technologically advanced than we currently are, yet the city of Caprica appears to be a 1950's America town. The cars and wardrobe are throwbacks to the 1950's, so in spite of the advancements in technology the show almost seems like it is from the past.

I guess when I think of science fiction, I think of people in space in funny costumes and using weird devices. Basically, I imagine a storyline and characters that are too far out there to be real. How can you relate to that? Well, I am wrong. Between Eureka and Caprica I am realizing that Syfy is actually a very approachable genre that is fun and entertaining.

The show is still new, so you can watch the whole series online (except the pilot which was released Spring of 2009). Check it out on hulu or syfy.

Sorry for the lack of plot details, but I really think it is a show that explains itself best.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dead Like Me: Life After Death

The final thirty minutes bring some redemption when Roxy hits Cameron and handcuffs him. Gah, complete douche.

I will say, I did actually like the Reggie-George dynamic. Total bummer though when George reveals herself to Reggie and then has to reap Reggie's love.

Dead Like Me: Life After Death

After finishing the television series Dead Like Me, I went into the movie with some reluctance. Everything I loved about the show (read here), the originality, the characters, the actors who play the characters, and Bryan Fuller's imagination, have all been thrown out the window. The movie picks up five years after George has died (four years after the series was sadly killed), the beloved leader of the pack Rube has finally seen his lights and a new leader replaces him. This new leader is younger, much wealthier, is all about technology (the beloved post-its are no more). Now I hate this guy from the beginning. Of course the only reason he is brought on is because Mandy Patinkin is off doing post-Dead Like Me stuff. Along with him being absent, the other notable changes are that they brought in a new actress to play Daisy and Der Waffle Haus is burned to a crisp. With all these changes, I can't expect this movie to be anything like the series I loved, and it's not.
None of the characters are even the same, even the ones that are played by the same actors. Apparently, the writers thought it'd be OK to just leave everything from the show out of the movie. The new leader is so carefree and manipulative that the group decides to throw out all the rules Rube had them follow. I can't even begin to explain how disappointed I am in this movie, which I'm only halfway through so maybe the second half will have some redemptive quality.

I'm crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Jay Leno Show, Rest in Peace

For the record, I'm a lover not a hater. Also, I don't like taking sides in a fight/battle that doesn't literally involve me. I love Conan O'Brien as I love Jay Leno, I don't like that NBC has created (accidentally) this fued as though one has to be better than the other. I wish we could go back to a world, one year ago, where the two could live together in harmony.

Today my mom, Natasha, and I went out to Burbank to be audience members of the final Jay Leno Show taping. We got there really early (8:30am) because: 1) none of us has been before so we don't know what to expect, 2) since it is the final show we don't know what to expect. A little after 9am we take an NBC Universal Studio Tour. It was just the three of us plus our tour guide, so it was a really small and intimate tour. Our tour guide, Katie (aka Brian Williams girlfriend ;) ), was super friendly. We visited the Access Hollywood stage which was formally the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson stage, the Telemundo stage, one of two Days Of Our Lives stage, and we passed wardrobe, make up, and like every Days of Our Lives piece of prop ever used since the 1960s. It was fun, when I was in middle school I started watching Passions and Days of Our Lives, so I could kind of get excited about walking through Salem. I walked through Harmony (another, RIP) at the CBS Radford studio when I was in high school...man, I REALLY miss being around studios/on stages.

When the tour was over we headed over to Studio 11 to get in line for the Jay Leno Show. I was first in line.

After hours of waiting outside in the cold, we finally made it into Stage 11 where the final episode of the Jay Leno Show was filmed, and where the Tonight Show with Jay Leno will resume in March.
The scheduled guests were Ashton Kutcher and Gabourey Sidibe, with Bob Costas on 10@10. Special appearances included Kurt Warner who threw four football passes to Ashton for "earn your plug" and Donald Trump who proclaimed via satellite "Jay, you're fired!"

This is the first late night show I've attended, and it was quite fun. Jay came out and greeted the audience, answered a few questions ("do you have any job openings for me?") and took pictures with a few audience members.

I was one of only three audience members he called on and took a picture with before he had to go backstage to get dressed for the show. And, after some fun banter about possible auditions being held under the bleachers after the taping, and possible jobs involving poles and/or partial nudity, I felt like Jay and I really hit it off. My mom was slightly embarassed, but also very impressed with my boldness.

The comedian that warned up the audience is great. The Kevin Eubanks and the Primetime band are great. The guests are great (I actually liked Ashton Kutcher more than I expected). Overall, I'm pretty sold on doing this again and again and again. And, with no job, late night TV shows I'm all yours!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Lovely Bones

About a month and a half ago I started reading The Lovely Bones in anticipation of the movie. I have never been much of a reader, I go through spurts where I find something I love and read non-stop until I'm finished, but for the most part I'm a book collector and not a reader. I started The Lovely Bones in December but finals and the holidays kept me from really getting into it. This week our DVR broke and school has been especially boring so I've fallen into reading again.

The Lovely Bones is quite an interesting book. The story of a girl, Susie Salmon (like the fish) who is murdered at 14, and the struggle she faces of letting go of earth, and the struggle her family and friends face of letting her go.
In general, I'd say the story is about loss and how different people choose to deal with it, including those who are lost. The story is told by Susie as she sits up in her Heaven, or the inbetween--between heaven and earth, looking down on those whom she loved. The book suggests that those who are gone are not really gone. Even though Susie is no longer on earth, she is still connected to her family and friends.

After her death, her killer remains a mystery. Her dad becomes obsessed with finding her killer. He focuses all his attention on his own investigation that he drives away his wife who would like nothing more than to put it all to rest. Susie watches from heaven as her family seems to fall apart, all the while she can't let go of them and tries to lead them to her killer who lives among them.

I loved the book. When I picked it up today I was half way through and the second half took no time to finish.

I proceeded to dive into the movie with the book still fresh in my mind and I actually like the movie. Rottentomato hates the movie, but I enjoyed it quite a lot. The acting was superb which is evidenced in the multiple awards the cast of the movie have been nominated for.
There are differences between the book and the movie, that is a given. I have yet to experience a movie that fully does justice to the book (even Harry Potter books are a million times better than the movies which I love so much). I have recently come to accept that in my book reading/movie watching experience, creative differences and plot adjustments are expected to be made on account of a movie only being 120 minutes. The adjustments made in this scenario I can accept. Certain characters aren't well developed (like Ruth and Ray, Susie's classmates who are especially affected by her death), the timeline of the movie is a bit skewed but I blame that on the movie not having the run time to include the near decade that passed from when Susie dies, to when she can finally let go of earth, and the family drama is really mild in the movie (in the book the mom has an affair with Len, the lead investigator on Susie's case, and is absent for over 5 years time-Lindsay the younger daughter graduates high school and college while she is gone), but I believe the movie stands well on its own.
I'm torn over whether movies should be held to the same scale as the books by which they are influenced. I'm on the search to find the movie that is capable of capturing everything the book has, when that movie has been discovered I will reconsider how I judge movies to books.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dead Like Me

This unemployment gig has been good for a few reasons (that is me trying to look on the bright side), one reason is that the free time allows me to watch entire seasons (or series) of shows that I was too busy to watch when I was in school. Forget the fact that I'm still in school, technically, community college doesn't give me enough work to make up for the lack of work in my life.

N-E wayz...this girl I was friends with in middle school started every sentence in letters with "N-E wayz" it drove me crazy! There are other transition words! But, alas, I use it as a way to reminisce.

I've nearly completed Dexter, but I have no desire to finish because Josie started school and watching it alone isn't the same. Also, I wiki'd the show so I know how the fourth season ends (don't give me that guilt trip, I have always hated surprises and so I want to know what I'm getting myself into ahead of time) and I'm not really excited to see how it ends. It is one of those things that you ignore in hopes that it will someway not happen. Oh well, soon enough I will get the courage to reach closure, maybe I'll wait until right before season five picks up in the fall.

To fill the hole that Dexter left, I have started watching Dead Like Me. I love Bryan Fuller, so it seems natural for me to dedicate myself to yet another Bryan Fuller creation. Dead Like Me, like Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls, has a supernatural quirky element to it. However, instead of bringing people back to life (Pushing Daisies) or inanimate objects talking (Wonderfalls), this show is about a group of grim reapers (the undead) who live amongst the living and take people's souls upon death to allow them to "move on." The main character, George, is an 18-year old college dropout who enters the world of the undead when she is killed by a toilet seat from the Soviet Union space station that doesn't fall into the Pacific and instead hits her in Washington. She meets another grims quota, so while he is able to finally "promoted," she is stuck in the world she hated when she was alive.

I love George's character, she reminds me of Jaye Tyler in her I hate the world attitude and her reluctance to let anyone inside her life out of fear of pain. She must try to come to terms with her death and accept that she must let her family and old life go. Even though she hated it while she was alive, now that she is dead she is filled with regret and longing. She visits her family's home despite the better advice of her grim mentor, Rube (played by Mandy Patinkin), and she ends up hurting herself. She then tries to avoid her job of taking the dead only to find out the hard way that she can't change destiny, all she can do is her job.

I'm on episode 8 of 29 and I'm really loving it. There is also a movie that came out last year but the reviews I've read by fans on Amazon aren't very good. I'll watch it when the time comes and formulate my own opinion. The series, like so many of Bryan Fuller's creations, died young because rave reviews by critics and award nominations don't buy viewership. So sad :(

But, anyone interested in checking the show out, imdb has links to full episodes and Netflix has the series on instant queue.

Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme and Sweet Potato Fries

Yesterday I was eating some Trader Joe's Sweet Potato Fries and a brilliant idea came to mind: "I bet these would taste great with marshmallow creme!"
Since marshmallow creme was not in my pantry, I was not able to taste this dream. So, today on my way home from school I stopped by Stater Bros. to pick up some Jet-Puffed creme.

It tastes like Thanksgiving! I think I have discovered my new favorite snack food.