Crazy Movie Lady 22

June 21-27, 2009
345. Tropic Thunder. Ben Stiller directs and stars in a spoof of the making of a war film. Jack Black, my boy Matthew McConaughey, Robert Downey, Jr. Of course I was reluctant to watch this film because of the black face by RD but Rashan watched it first and turns out it was really funny. I was shocked. I never expect to like Ben Stiller in films and yet I always do. Tom Cruise had one of the worst fat suits in the history of movies. The last bit of him dancing was a misstep but still an amusing movie. I can't believe I'm saying this but 4 stars. What? Wow...
346. Some Like it Hot. Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in a film about two men who witness a mob shooting and have to get out of town by dressing as women. All sorts of things commence in this screwball comedy. I liked it. It made me laugh, but it was a little long. I hated Marilyn Monroe's dumb blonde act. 3.9/5 stars.
347. After Innocence. Documentary about people exonerated from wrongful convictions mostly via DNA evidence. I thought it only happened to black people and hispanics until I watched this. This film had the potential to be really powerful but lost some of it in the slow pacing and the fact that they used so many cases. It made it hard to connect with any of the exonerees because you didn't know how many more were coming. Strangely among the what felt like dozens of exonerees profiled, there were no women. I did want to get involved but I already felt that way. Huge slant. Horrible music. 2.9/5 stars.
348. How to Lose Your Lover. Pretty bad mostly because of the obvious similarities to "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." Then it meandered too long. There was some pretty subpar camera work, too. 2/5 stars.
349. Enchanted. Disney animated film transforms when the wicked queen drops the future princess (Amy Adams) into Times Square and the prince follows her from the land of make believe. She's hilarious. One of the unexpected twists involves McDreamy (aka Patrick Dempsey). I didn't expect to laugh out loud like I did. Of course the predictable Disney ending but up until that point a very amusing film. 3.8/5 stars.
350. I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon W.iesenthal. Documentary about the architect turned N.azi hunter who survived in concentration camps, then made it his mission to track down tormenters. Over-reliance on narration for someone who can (and did) dynamically tell his own story. Some excellent archival material though at times its usage makes you wonder if it's just background from the time or directly related to his life. The Boston Globe reviewer talked about the bad score in its melodrama and I absolutely agree. It cheapened a powerful story. And I've noticed reviewers are more reluctant to be honest about a film's flaws if the topic is a sensitive one. That is ridiculous. The more important the story, the more important it is to tell the story in an honest and balanced way. As this film was commissioned by his namesake center that was never going to happen but still... 3/5 stars.
351. A Woman is A Woman. Film by legendary French director Jean-Luc Godard about a striptease artist who wants to have a baby and her boyfriend who doesn't and how they solve their dilemma. References to Godard's other films. Very strange. Some of it I completely didn't understand. 3.3/5 stars.
352. Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. I picked this film because Amy Admas cracks me up. She didn't so much in this one and her roles seem to all be a little bit too similar. The ditzy red head. Hmmm... Interesting movie about a fired nanny who stumbles upon a job that happens to be just right for her assisting an American star. 3.5 stars.
353. Love and Other Disasters. Film starring Brittany Murphy who plays an assistant at British Vogue who sets up her friends with people all the time with mixed success. Not to spoil or anything but at the beginning it says something about her having an accent sometimes British and sometimes American. Really? I immediately thought, "Wow... Brit's British accent was that bad that they had to put a cop out disclaimer at the front? Bad." It really wasn't that bad, though. I actually laughed out loud several times and was caught up in the romantic comedy. Still... 3/5 stars.
354. The Spiral Staircase. 1946 film about a woman who can't speak in a town with a serial killer on the loose murdering women who can't fight back. She of course is expected to be his next victim. Interesting enough murder mystery though a bit slow-moving. 3/5 stars.
355. He's Just Not That Into You. Really? You show Africans in huts surrounded by goats? In the first 2 minutes of the film? Wack. And why is it more than 2 hours long? And why are the people in this film already so stupid 8 minutes in? I should've known I wouldn't like 1 million things about this movie. Like the bunch of stupid women who give their even dumber friends the dumbest advice of their lives. Did you think it would be predictable and full of cliches? Oh because it was. 2 stars.
356. Bonnie and Clyde. Classic film about the bank-robbing outlaws starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Lots of action and drama. I liked it. 4.1/5 stars.
356. 84 Charing Cross Road. British film starring Anne Bancroft as a cheeky American who writes to London for out of print British books. The recipient of her letters is Anthony Hopkins as a man who works for a bookseller. Cute film I think mostly because I like snail mail for some things and love books. Very appealing even though I didn't really like the end. 4/5 stars.
357. Fools Rush In. Uber romantic comedy with Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek playing a couple who get married on a whim. Of course mayhem ensues. Stace hated it. Rah liked it. I was somewhere in between. I thought it definitely didn't need to be 110 minutes. 3 stars.


Sir, Fall Back or Why You Should ALWAYS Wear Sunglasses

My parents have this thing about them that I've talked about before, actually lamented would be a more appropriate description. They both have this uncanny something that makes strangers carry conversations with them EVERYWHERE!! In the doctor's office, shopping for my dad's latest toy, the grocery store, a restaurant, everywhere!! My dad is awful because he really encourages it. As friendly as he is with strangers, you really would think he would have more friends but I can't name a single one of his friends other than a few of his siblings. I guess with 8 brothers and sisters you grew up with at least one good friend, huh?

Anyway, he can absolutely hold his own surrounded by strangers. I got that from him, but I only like to use it at my discretion. He's wild with it. My mom is just very polite. Unlike my dad, she won't initiate it, but like him, she won't try to nip it in the bud once it starts. Me? I avoid eye contact and when on planes, have a newspaper (preferably the NYT and maybe a local in a large city), a magazine (something light like InStyle), a book (something VERY chick lit that I can read in 1-2 plane rides depending on length and interest), AND my ipod... all out at the same time. Can you send anymore signals to LEAVE ME ALONE!? Yeah I don't think so.

Unfortunately, I was utterly unprepared after leaving our mini Hampton reunion in Brunswick, GA this weekend. I stopped at a gas station on 95 and the old black man (at least 65) on the other side of the pump said, "How you doin?" UGHHHHHHHH!! WHY ME!!?? I could just tell from the way he said it that he was the type to carry on a long conversation. At this point I haven't even gotten the nozzle out of its holder.
"Fine, thank you."
"You on yo way to the beach?" What?! Shorts and a tank mean beach? Wow... don't you realize it's like 95 degrees and feels like 100 at 10:30 in the morning? I wish I wasn't wearing this many clothes.
"(laughs) No." I probably shouldn't have laughed but it was involuntary. What a strange question.
"Oh. You look like you on yo way to the beach. What part of NC you from?" Ugh! Stupid NC tags!
"Oh yeah? I was just up there 2 weeks ago and I'm going back 4th of July."
"Oh okay." ...
"You know where Concord Mall is?"
"That's where my brother stays. I'm originally from Greenville, NC."
"Oh okay."
"Your people still stay up there?"
"You married?"
"(laughter) No!"
"Why you laugh like that? You young but you not that young." I laughed like that because that question from men is usually followed by 'Can I have your number' and if you were to ask I would certainly hurt your feelings with something like 'You are old enough to be my grandfather! How old are you????'
"I don't know. That's just funny."
"Oh where you go to school?" WHY ISN'T THIS GAS PUMPING FASTER!?!?!
"The University of Florida."
"What?! All them good schools in NC and you go all the way down to Florida? Why you go there?"
"I like the program."
"You like the program? All them good schools in NC!" FINALLY THE GAS IS DONE!
"Alright, well you have a nice day."
"Thanks, you too."

This is why I shouldn't have left my sunglasses that day. You can't see my eyes, you can't catch my eyes.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 4

1) Whenever Seinfeld happens to be on my screen and Kramer shows up I say "N.igger" at the screen. I know. It's crazy. I can't help myself. I never liked or "got" that show and his screaming rant a few years back made me what some would probably consider hostile. I know what "Jewish classmate" would say (he hates when I call him that on the blog which is why I do it), "Yeah, it's unfortunate. You should really give the show a chance." Nope. No more chances. I won't yell at Rashan if he stays on it for a few seconds, which he does frequently, but I'll pass.
2) At my old gym the people who worked at the desk used to eat fries all the time. THAT IS WRONG!! They should be banned from eating the bad food while we're there trying to refrain!!!!!! I mean come on! I love fries and you torture me w/them!? Hmph! That's why I used to get fries AND a beer after leaving the gym.
3) Someone at the farmer's market last week was apparently making goat stew for millions. Why do you need 8 pounds of goat meat? I know it's only about $2.39/lb. (I know... makes me wish I knew what to do w/goat meat or what it even tasted like... no, I don't know anything about any Caribbean roots in the fam) but really? Stock up for the next year ON A SUNDAY with a huge line? And while you're at it get your lamb kidney and liver? WHAT ARE YOU MAKING!?!? I try not to be that kind of food snob but... I must say, to my American-food-only raised eyes that are becoming more and more open... it looks disgusting. LIVER? Ick.
4) That being said... after hearing about sweetbreads for years on Top Chef (and never having heard of them before), I knew they weren't really very sweet, or breads, and cooked poorly would be disgusting as they were some sort of indiscriminate animal product. I decided to go for it at this Gainesville restaurant I'd heard nothing but good things about still not knowing what they were! GOOD CHOICE! They were great!! (And they're the thymus and pancreas glands of lamb, beef or pork.)
5) I've been watching a lot of crazy movies lately which is prompting a lot of crazy dreams. I'm a several times nightly dreamer, as in I usually have multiple dreams a night. I have been working very hard to forget all of them as soon as I wake up. All I know is they make me uncomfortable and I wake up extraordinarily grateful they are not my reality.
6) GQ's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get. It's part savvy, fashion-forward businessman, part silly frat boy and everything in between. The fashion is on point but the articles range a wide gamut from Newsweek-esque to curse-strewn diatribes. From what I can gather from the 6 months I've been a subscriber, it's target audience is the 25-year-old former frat boy who is now playing house but loves to reminisce on the good ole days nigh on 3 years past. I prefer the part that caters to the adult (duh). But how about one of my friend CC's friends is absolutely in that target. I forgot self-absorbed as a descriptor for the GQ reader and that one SO applies.
7) When Rashan's sister was here last weekend I kept laughing loudly at Rashan and I was thinking, "I know she's like, he is not that funny." Because that's exactly what I would say about any woman laughing like that at my brother. Except my brother really is hilarious... but still.
8) I LOVE how my voice sounds when it's hoarse. I think it's so hot! That being said, right now, after screaming the lyrics to lots of songs over the weekend with Stace, Bran and CC at Bran's daddy's birthday party, I'm pretty hoarse. Ah yeah! I don't like the accompanying sore throat but I know it's only in passing so I don't complain.
9) I'm tired of driving!! I don't want to drive anywhere for like a year!! And me, my mom and Stace are going to visit my family in Mississippi next week...
10) I'm getting to the point where I miss Rashan after a couple of days apart. I know... sickening, right? Lol.
11) The best friends of 2 guys I dated in college were staying in the same house as me when I went down to Brunswick for the party... umm... potentially awkward (and really mostly in theory) but turned out to not matter at all.
12) Rashan met one of my aunts, who also happens to be my fave. One aunt/uncle down, 11 to go. Lol.
13) I love the song "Halle Berry" because it makes me laugh. Especially after seeing her dance to it on Ellen which was actually the first time I"d heard the song. Anyway I wondered what "let's get ratchet" means so in true old person fashion (Lord... I'm out of the loop at 26... but let's be real. I was rarely up on slang. Doggone suburban upbringing.), I relied on someone's little sister... Adei's sis says it means let's get wild. So there you go. I guess urban dictionary could've helped too. This was easier.
14) Why did me and Rah see 3 guys sitting outside Starbucks wearing long-sleeved tee-shirts, and drinking coffee in 95 degree weather!?!?!


Crazy Movie Lady 21

June 14-20, 2009
I was having too much fun this weekend to watch movies. I have a lot of catching up to do next week.
336. The Woman in the Window. Classic thriller about a professor who gets ensnared in a murder with a beautiful model. I couldn't believe how bumbling they were. The end killed this movie for me. Cop out. 2.8/5 stars.
337. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father. Documentary about the director's childhood friend who was murdered just after he fathered a son. His plan was to have the baby's father's many friends tell stories so he could get to know him. It took an extremely unexpected turn a little over halfway through. There were some parts of the film I felt moved too quickly which I attribute to the filmmaker's experience primarily with feature films. Still, overall an excellent film. 4.8/5 stars.
338. Ira and Abby. Funny movie about a neurotic guy who marries a free-spirited woman a week after they meet and how their lives change and in some ways unravel together. This film moved really nicely. I wanted to see more from the scriptwriter and the director, whoever they are. I wasn't in love with part of the ending (multiple story lines) but I really liked some of it. 4.2/5 stars
339. Why Do Fools Fall in Love. I hope you guys have stopped being shocked by all the movies I haven't seen. Lots of B actors in this film about a doo-wop star who married 3 women who didn't know he was married to all of them simultaneously and after his death fought in court over his estate. Mildly interesting but dragged on too long. Larenz Tate never looked like he was actually singing. 3/5 stars.
340. Two Days in April. Documentary follows 4 players trying to get selected in the 2006 NFL draft. It's an inside look at how they prepare themselves to get selected. I was appalled by the weigh-in. All these black men with their shirts off. Umm... reminiscent of the slave trade anyone!!?!? It was more emotional than I expected. Toward the end it dragged on unnecessarily. The film ramped up drama where it already existed but still a pretty good showing. 3.8/5 stars.
341. Victor/Victoria. Julie Andrews stars as a down and out soprano who can only secure work by posing as a female impersonator. Excellent acting in this 7-time Academy Award-nominated musical. Julie Andrews rocks. I could listen to her sing all day. This was more than a little long at 2hr9m but I thoroughly enjoyed it. My only real issue with this film is that it was allegedly set in the 1930s in Paris and some of the dialogue was markedly un-1930s and some of the handling of the issues (h.omosexuality primarily) seemed anachronistic. Plus it's always strange when a movie set in France has no French and very few accents. 4.2 stars.
342. Nine Queens. Argentinean film about a rare sheet of stamps two swindlers are trying to sell and the issues that arise surrounding them. Interesting story line, moved swiftly. 4/5 stars.
343. Surfwise. Documentary about a surfing family of 9 children living in a 24-foot trailer traveling constantly, surfing, and never going to school. Hmmm... obviously a very interesting family and a film which actually got all 11 immediate family members to participate but somehow it never really all came together. I was absolutely intrigued, but some of the things that came to light in large ways throughout the film would have been more effective if they'd been alluded to earlier on. In a way because of that lack of cohesion in multiple story lines, it felt like 2 or 3 very different films. It was trying to show the totality of one man's impact on his children and the world and it just needed one scene or something to tie it all together. 3.5/5 stars.
345. American Gangster. Denzel Washington plays notorious NY drug lord Frank Lucas who involved most of his family. Although the movie was interesting, I get tired of seeing black criminals. And at 2 hours and 30 minutes, it took me about a week to watch this. Though the movie was well done, I just couldn't get into it. 3.5/5 stars.


Adventures with M Pt. III

I got new phones for my mom and myself while I was at home and my goal was since it took about a million steps on the Tmobile website to upgrade phones, to go to the store right up the street from my house, walk in, upgrade and walk out with my first new phone in 3 years. I don't like phones. I love talking on them and the convenience of phones (see: the 7hr+ convos Rah and I have several times a week) but I don't see any reason why I need my phone to do anything other than look nice, dial in and out, tell me the time and be my alarm clock. I don't text, get on the internet and I'm a bit too much of a snob to want that little crappy 1.3mp camera.

Anyway, I ask the guy what phone I should get for my mom and he says, "A lot of older people like this one." Why when I got home did I slip and tell her this? LOL!! She said, "I'm not old! He doesn't know me!" I said laughing, "He didn't mean like elderly! I told him it was for my mom!" I didn't tell her he also said, "Because the numbers are big." HAHAHAHAHA!! She really would've been mad then! What? You wear glasses! I told her, "Well, if you don't like your phone, you have 14 days to take it back." (I knew there was no way she was taking that phone back. She doesn't do additional steps and hates returns except at Harris Teeter where if something's wrong you get double your money back.)

When after a protracted week of issues I won't even get into, I finally got my phone she says, "Yours is cute! I want a pewter phone!" I said, "Well good luck. You can go wrangle for your own phone." Stank, I know. She said, "I thought you were going to trade with me." So I can have the elderly phone? Lololol. "Yeah right." She said, "This one looks like too much to learn, anyway." Sigh. I know. Look at all that crap on it. I loved it the second I had it in my hand but I don't want to be bothered with learning it.

Rashan had to look up the alarm for me because it was this ridiculously convoluted process. Last Samsung phone it was directly under settings. This time? Under fun and apps, then organizer THEN alarm. What in the bloody blue blazes? And why is the screen ORANGE when I dial out and I can't figure out how to change that fuglyness? I hate orange. I figured out wallpaper but that crap? Ugh. The girl with 2 blogs (3 if you count the one I don't update, LinkedIn, facebook, twitter, utterli (formerly utterz, which Stace and I are bringing back now that twitter is so overexposed), and myspace (never checked anymore) can't figure out how to change the dial out screen on her phone. Figures. I did discover the whisper mode, though. So cool! It magnifies your voice so you could answer, put the phone on whisper mode and proceed sotto voce to tell them "I can't talk, I'm in church!!" Lol. How about you just don't answer the phone! I HATE when my mom answers the phone to tell me she can't talk!!! Just call me back!!!! Lololol.


Done with Donna

From a recent NYTimes article:

Asked if she was pleased to see the new talent being recognized, DonnaKaran said, “Thanks for telling me, I hadn’t noticed.” No, really, she said, the industry has collectively made efforts to welcome new businesses in fashion, promoting mentoring and networking programs through the council in recognition of the need for fresh talent.

“We’re all young,” Ms. Karan said, “In fashion, nobody grows old.”
Except you... Burn. This article was all about how those in the fashion industry tried to prop themselves up at their annual awards show despite the recession's effects on them. Was not that first response snarky? Did not it deserve the burn? Methinks it did.

Oh but this is not the first from Ms. DKNY. What really sparked this vitriol from me is her comments with others from the fashion crybabies oldies several months ago during my first lady's much fashion-touted trip abroad to England and France (in which I was SO excited that she looked better than former model-turned-first lady of France, Carla B.runi). They were upset she was wearing unknowns and J.Crew on her trip. I was pissed, but just let my anger reside on my line sister's page when she wrote about it. But now this? Let's recap what she said about the Europe trip and the worst remarks. "I hope and believe that this is just a moment," she said. "And I hope to be able to dress her, and not only dress her but address her, sit down - I'm interested in her totality as a woman."

Excuse you? That is a GROWN woman. Not a child who will just "outgrow" her fashion choices. She can AND WILL wear what she wants and look good doing it. At least DK tinged her comment with some hope and (probably possibly) fake admiration. I love Oscar de laRenta's clothes but I'm going to have to one day pass on them after this, "I don't object to the fact that Mrs.Obama is wearing JCrew to whatever because the diversity of America is what makes this country great. But there are a lot of great designers out there. I think it's wrong to go in one direction only.... You don't...go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater." Face. ARE YOU SERIOUS!? And what does diversity have to do with anything!?

And the least relevant? VeraWang, "I love seeing young designers and their vision and how they grow... On the other hand, I wish she would consider some of us, because I think we also have contributions to make." Have you seen your clothes? I wouldn't wear them, either. You should really stick to wedding dresses. AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE THOSE.

But really, tell me, why do you think this will work? Do you really think by "shaming" her she'll cave to your demands and wear your clothes? You must not know black women. Create something wearable or at least relevant and you wouldn't have to beg for her business. She didn't ask for that job, but guess what? She's pretty good at it and looks good doing it. Don't talk about my first lady!!! I hope she never wears any of your clothes, ESPECIALLY YOU OSCAR!! I know I won't. (Maybe Oscar...)


Monday Mindspacing Vol. III

1) I used to only like my sandwiches cut on the diagonal. This is from 2nd grade until just now. I could never explain why, either. I'm starting to come around. Maybe. I haven't actually tried one of these vertical-cut sandwiches but in my head I'm starting to think, what's the big deal?
2) I don't like pb&j. Yuck. Doesn't matter the jelly. I like peanut butter. I like jelly. But not together.
3) I don't like white bread either, never have. The first time I had wheat bread I felt like I learned what real bread is supposed to taste like. My favorite bread, though, is focaccia.
4) Victoria's Secret has pissed me off with their apparent shift away from cotton outside of its Pink line. Pink is the one that's mostly collegiate with neon colors, skulls, hearts, stars, rainbow stripes, catch my drift? Seriously? Ugh. They are about to be off my must-see list. AND they send me daily sales emails.
5) Steve Madden sends too many emails, too. Again: I don't need a daily email about sales. If I'm interested I'm not going to forget your sale ends in 3 days, 2 days, 1 DAY!!!!!!! Thanks. I have cut both down to once a week. Why is that required? If they don't get it together they will be cut out together.
6) I've had way too much bad restaurant food lately. It's horrid! I can't stand it! Why do I have to pay for this food and it's not up to par? But I hate restaurant confrontations.
7) I have to get in the NYTimes. I'm obsessed with this paper. It must be done.
8) I get REALLY mad when people treat my friends badly.
9) I saw the most awesomely bad show on television last night. "G.od M.iracles in Action." It's allegedly a C.hristian talent show. MESS!!! A woman in 1980s outfits walks a runway to elevator music or something else amazingly horrid. There is no talent required but to show yours, just call the number on your screen. Wooooow!! youtube is failing me for the first time ever and I'm sad about that!!!
10) I am cooking up a storm again this week! I'll be posting on me & Stace's food & fashion blog, the Record Dish. First up: lime margarita cupcakes. For the other recipes so far this summer, see this post from a couple of days ago.


Crazy Movie Lady 21

June 7- 13, 2009
By the beginning of this week I was behind on my movie watching due to my resistance to watching films. Instead of being 5 films ahead like I was when I left Charlotte I was only 3 films ahead. Okay so not behind but I wanted to step up the movie watching this summer.
324. Jungle Fever. Wesley Snipes movie by Spike Lee about a married, professional black man who has an affair with an Italian woman and the havoc their affair wreaks on their communities. Very political. Interesting like all Spike Lee joints. I liked it and couldn't remember if I'd seen it before... odd. Anyway I'd never rated it and remembered much of the film. Kind of like "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka." 4/5 stars.
325. The Seventh Sign. Demi Moore movie about the 7 signs of the apocalypse which she single-handedly tries to stop. High drama factor but I think I didn't like it because it wasn't well explained early enough. When it got to explanation I didn't believe it. Also probably didn't help that Mrs. Ashton is supposed to save the world... I was really bored most of this movie. 2/5 stars.
326. Half Past Autumn. Documentary on legendary photographer/cinematographer/filmographer Gordon Parks. I didn't understand why this film was narrated as Mr. Parks still alive and in it to tell his own story. I was also confused by how the film was organized. It didn't seem to be chronological or topical or thematic instead bouncing around. Maybe it was a loose combination of all three but throughout the film I found myself trying to mentally organize. 3/5 stars.
327. West Side Story. 1960s musical based on Romeo and Juliet. Instead there are rival gangs in NYC in the 1950s. At the beginning I couldn't stop laughing at the plie-dropping, arabesque-ing gangsters. Lol. So funny. This film won 10 Academy Awards and I can see why. I liked it and already knew a couple of the songs. 4.2/5 stars.
328. Miami Vice. Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx about an undercover operation to bust drug smugglers. There was some strange camera work going on, especially in one of the shootouts which where a marked departure from the very cinematic style of the rest of the movie and thus quite jarring and out of place. This also occurred in the opening scene in the club. At more than 2 hours, it was also too long. Overall a pretty good script until the end. It wrapped up way too neatly which brought it down to 3.5 stars.
329. I Think I Love My Wife. Chris Rock movie about a man who thinks he loves his wife until his friend's old flame pops up (Kerry Washington) to seduce him. Men are stupid. I used to think there was no way they could be that oblivious but I've seen to much evidence to the contrary in the last 5 years. They may not be dumb in everything but when it comes to bewitching women? Dumb. Adulterers make me want to go off. This movie was pretty interesting though I was SMH most of the time. The last scene had me cracking up. 3.5/5 stars.
330. House Calls. Walter Mathau film about a widower who decides to be a Casanova before he meets a beguiling divorcee. Amusing if the script was a bit slow but I laughed out loud. 4 stars.
331. Junebug. Amy Adams plays a hilarious pregnant woman about to give birth and meeting her sister-in-law for the first time. This sister-in-law is well-traveled while Adams and her husband's family, who they live with, seem to have never left NC. Of course I didn't like how hickish they were but Adams was very funny until the film took an unexpected and shockingly sad turn. I really liked the film, though. 4/5 stars.
332. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Awesome classic with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford where a former vaudeville star now tortures the star actress sister she crippled decades earlier. I was shocked by this film and actually felt sorry for Crawford, something I'd thought not possible after watching "Mommy Dearest." Lol. 4.4 stars.
333. Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer. Follow-up from British documentarian who did an expose'-style film about the people who tried to make money off of Florida's female serial killer hitchhiking prostitute. Very slanted. Not a fan of the slant or how little Aileen talked though he had access. This was more about the filmmaker hoping to show I guess how she got to be a serial killer (the sympathy angle) but in her final year or so, she wasn't interested in that and just wanted to die. I liked the fiction film, "Monster" much more. 2/5 stars.
334. The Legend of Leigh Bowery. Strange documentary about an Australian man fancied as part fashion designer, part musician, part art exhibit. He made a life of shocking people. This man was naked far too much of this movie. I don't need to see his man parts. Even though he's dead, I wanted to hear from him more considering he was such a presence rather than have people telling me about him over pictures. It was almost like this was their memory of him collected which made it less interesting for other people who didn't know him. 2.9/5 stars.
335. He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. French Audrey Tatou movie about love gone awry. She plays a student in love with a married man whose wife is pregnant. It unravels from there. At first I was appalled, then amazed, then shocked, then kind of blah and decided the end would make or break this movie. Made it! 4.2/5 stars.


I Roll Fatly

I know this will not surprise any of you who read this blog even semi-regularly but...


Like all the time.

Sometimes (okay MOST of the time) while eating one meal, I'm thinking about the next. It's bad. My mom said as much as I talk about food I should be two tons of fun. I can't help myself! And this summer I've been cooking up a storm which is absolutely exacerbating the problem.

BTW isn't this like the best! picture! ever!? I walked into Rashan's room where I was meal-planning and it struck me that I had 4 Rachael Ray mags and 3 books and I should TOTALLY take a picture of that! So awesome! (And that's just the tip of my Rach iceberg). I also got unnecessarily excited when I saw Rachael Ray chicken stock in the grocery store-- I even used the recipe on the box for the chicken in meal number 3 below. My mom gets kind of jealous of my Rach love because she taught me stuff about food first. It's kind of funny in an incredulous kind of way. Hey mom... chill out. Lol. Nevertheless, meal-planning for one day almost always makes me hungry immediately no matter how recent my last meal. As I write this post, shortly after thinking about eggs over-medium just worked me up into a near-frenzy, I'm starving! But I think that's an illusion because when I thought that Monday night I went downstairs and whipped up some eggs with potatoes and salmon already cooked and went to town. After the first couple of bites I was satiated.

And don't let me have worked out and have an excuse to think fatly. It is hilarious to me that fatly is a word. As in, "I was fatly planning meals, you know, Paula Deen-style with lots of butter and mayonnaise and bacon, preferably in the same dish..." Kidding. I would never say that. I don't like mayo very much and a butter and bacon combo sounds disgusting to me. As if bacon doesn't work fatly enough. *snicker* (Don't get me started on the pitifulness of turkey bacon *shudder* and don't tell me about your turkey bacon either because it is nowhere near the taste of the thick-cut applewood smoked bacon at the Dekalb Farmers Market aka Jameil Heaven. That is some of the best bacon I've ever had in my LIFE. Right up there with the Cracker Barrel bacon. MMM!!)

Some of my meals so far this summer:
1) Ground turkey (with cumin, poblano peppers (pretty mild but a nice pepper flavor), cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro), oven frites, corn and black beans (drained & rinsed, add s&p, cilantro, cumin, lime juice) with homemade guacamole (avocado smashed, add garlic (optional), cilantro, lime, s&p, onion).

2) "Casablanca" lamb burgers with fried potatoes. (pictured right)

3) Chili lime salmon (twist on the recipe from the frozen salmon bag-- baste the salmon with garlic, poblanos, s&p, cumin, lime juice (notice a theme?) and EVOO-- extra virgin olive oil-- broil at 400 for 6-7 mins on each side, basting when you turn) with poblano creamed corn and cumin thyme black beans (twist on the recipe on the bean can).

4) Chicken breast with a mustard gravy (from the Rach-brand chicken stock), broccoli and a quinoa-orzo-baby garbanzo bean-couscous mix (from Trader Joe's but using a Rach recipe for quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah")).

5) Peruvian chicken (I used a whole chicken which means you need to make sure to season the cavity well) with sauteed spinach and cheddar broccoli rice (right out of one of those flavored bag rices-- not my normal route but Rah had it in the cabinet so I snatched it right out).

6) Don't-kiss-me garlic and Adirondacker burgers (yes, 2 burgers in one night-- we each had 1/2 of a different burger) with oven steamed zucchini (garlic, onions, zucchini coins in a foil packet on 350-- twist on an Aida recipe) and sour cream smashed yukon gold potatoes.

7) Gaucho burger with charred pico de gallo and homemade guacamole and tortilla chips. We weren't fans of the charred pico in this one so if I made it again (because the burger was delish otherwise) I would just make a regular pico.

8) Eggplant mushroom parmigiana. For this one I used a Mario Batalli recipe (plus mushrooms) with a homemade marinara recipe he provided. AMAZING! I liked this a lot and it's less fat(ly... lol, yes, I know that is grammatically incorrect) than the regular fried eggplant version.

This is in the last month (4 in the last week), along with trying several new restaurants and some old faves, which may not be much for some of you but is a small miracle for me. I am admittedly a Food Network nut and love burgers as much as/more than I love Mexican and eggs. I can't decide AND WON'T!! If I could have all 3 in a meal it would probably be too much! I've combined 2 on several occasions. Hmmm.... I'm thinking a mexican burger topped with a fried egg. Oh YES!! See what I mean? Just fat!! Internally fat!! That was a completely unplanned tangent.

Anyway almost all of these recipes were Rachael Ray. Yes, Rashan and my mom have been LOVING ME!! Lol. And there are more to come because the more I cook unfamiliar foods (many of these recipes were my first time trying either the method or one or more of the ingredients; all except number 1 were my first time trying the recipe. 1 was a mix of my fave ingredients which I would usually add tortillas to), the more confident I become about cooking (even better when they clean the kitchen) and the more willing I am to try lots of stuff. Wheeeee!


Adventures With M Pt. I

My mom (or M as I call her) is so funny. We have an awesome relationship. Last night while I was cooking, she came home and said she was sleepy and could she just go to bed. Now she KNOWS better than to ask me if she should do something. I'm bossy by nature. When that song came out almost everyone who knew me well proclaimed it my theme song. Haters. Lol. I know everyone was claiming it as their theme song but I didn't b/c I knew it would be thrust upon me. I LOVED the song though! That beat was tight!

Anyway, I said, "Ugh! No! I wish you'd told me you were sleepy before I started cooking because I sure didn't feel like cooking tonight." I only did because I had previously told her I would cook. "And anyway it's 7:00. It's way to early for you to go to sleep right now. You're not going to sleep until 6 a.m." She says petulantly, "Uh huh! I'll wake up at 12 then go right back to sleep." "Mmmhmm. You're not going to sleep."

She sucks her teeth, "So bossy!" Then, "Ooh! I'm missing Jeopardy!" I'm thinking, "Good. Something to entertain her." Like a child. Lol. Later she says, "I heard when you get sleepy that means you're dehydrated. Can I have some water?" Hilarious!! "Where did you hear this???" Of course she couldn't remember. I give her some water anyway. Around 7:35 the complaints start again. For the love... I say, "Why don't you put in a movie? Then it can watch you." (She always falls asleep to movies.) She says, "I'm just gonna go upstairs for a minute." Immediately suspicious, I say, "For what?" Sheepishly, "To take a nap." LOLOLOL!!! "No!" Whining, "I just need 30 minutes." "Mom! Put on a movie!... Drink some water!" *snicker* "I tried that! It didn't work!" Lolol!!! Why would water make you less sleepy???? So bizarre! What a funny lady. She managed to take a couple of cat naps while I finished dinner but she made it and even finished the movie with me before going to her room around 9:30... then I yelled a conversation upstairs to her for about 10 minutes. Lol.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. II

1) Gluten allergies are weird to me. They seem fake. Like something created by the organic industry to scare already crazed parents into buy a $9 loaf of bread. How is it that in elementary school I knew a girl who was allergic to air... okay maybe not air but the list was outrageous: dairy, eggs, peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts, soybeans, broccoli, grass and on and on it went. That's not the exact list but even in my pre-food obsessed young years I remember staring open-mouthed and frightened for her asking, "What do you eat????" I guess at that point my mother should've known it was the beginning of the end.
2) I've never been a picky eater. That was my sister (and still is). I'm more aware of food possibilities now which makes me not want to waste them i.e. if I know I don't like scallops or iceberg lettuce, why bother continuing to eat them? That's a gross misuse of valuable stomach space that shouldn't be tolerated.
3) I am very bad at the summer vacation thing. Yes, I can be lazy with the rest of them and the best of them, but after a few days I'm ready for actual accomplishments and goal fulfillment. Summer is not hooking me up with that at all.
4) I used to love it but I now find magazine reading to be way too time consuming. If my GQ subscription wasn't free, I would cancel it like I did with InStyle. Rachael Ray's mag will never go as it helps me with cooking. I could do without the non-food-related stuff, but I love the recipe bonanza inside. Did you know she writes several recipes A DAY!?! WOW!! Even as a Rach lover that sounds crazy to me! Lol. But I wondered b/c though she doesn't come up with all the recipes in her mag, she has 30-minute meals and her talk show for which to also create content... better you than me and thank you so much!
5) Pretty sure the mag annoyance thing is securely centered around the fact that as much as I love reading books I haven't completed one in months. This is tantamount to treason for me. I feel book naked. I haven't had time between school and watching more than 300 movies in the last 6 months... yes that looks as crazy to me as it does to you.
6) As soon as I watch a movie everyone's seen I feel good about what I'm doing. It swings back around and slaps me in the face when I realize how many more fall into that category that I haven't seen and that so many more remain. I can't wait until I've watched 750 movies. This is like Blog365 but for aspiring filmmakers. I'm starting to hit a wall. The good thing is I'm quite far ahead so I can take a couple of days off if I want. I don't want to in a way though because I know next semester will get hectic. What a stupid conundrum. Lol.
7) I know this is a downer but one of the saddest sights is a pregnant girl in the trailer park. I hope her child has the best but it seems unlikely.
8) I hate when people give me unsolicited advice on how to manage my time. I write lists. I know what I need to accomplish for the day and when I want to accomplish it. I can be rigid about this-- my timeline. I'm sure you don't need to go back too far to find examples of this, likely the last time I was home. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. We've had this conversation too many times for comfort which just increases my frustration when you do it anyway. Stop it. Stop saying, "Shouldn't you be doing this? I know you hate when I manage your time, but when are you going to do this? Don't forget you have to do this." STOP IT!!! I know you're trying to be helpful but if I don't ask you for it, for the nth time, please let me run my own life.
9) I react badly when I have to repeat myself. See the previous number. I feel myself getting increasingly enraged when I tell people something about myself multiple times and they continue to do whatever it is I've asked them not to do. It's not like these people are my enemies or subordinates. These are people I love. Can we work together on this? Ugh. I'm getting irritated just writing about this.
10) Real Simple. The magazine has some interesting things in it but some of the tips and articles are utterly boring to me and unnecessary. I want to like it more than I actually do. Maybe like Stace says, there are just TOO many tips. Across too many different topics. Oh well. Not like I really have time to take on a new magazine anyway. Mags feel so tedious to me now. I bought this one for organizing tips.
11) It's strange when you grow up and people you've known most of your life suddenly don't know how to act around you. It's mostly the men because they don't want to seem like pervs. I guess the 15-year gap in time since we last saw each other doesn't help, either.
12) O.D.T.A.U.T. That's the acronym I came up with for the kids I saw standing outside at JCSmith University's campus when I went to watch my sister's step practice. Overly Dedicated to a Useless Task. Dog. It's POURING rain out here and has been all day and you're steady out here watching the 4 cars on campus roll by. Stop it.
13) I don't like step shows. Ugh. I really really don't like them. I've been to too many. And once you've seen 5, you've seen them all. But I was forced to go this weekend b/c my sister was stepping.


Crazy Movie Lady 20

May 31- June 7, 2009
Wow! 20 weeks already! I didn't watch enough docs again this week and I have been indulging my desire to read more. Much slower pace this week than last week. Last week was nearly frenetic! Lol.
312. Cinderella Man. Leisurely pace with heavy investment into Russell Crowe's character as a down and out former Golden Gloves champ. You know I like my biopics and though I don't like the blood and the sound of the pain but boxing movies are pretty thrilling and high intensity. I have to admit I like them. But this one was grueling and I felt sympathy rib pains which means laying off the boxing movies for a while. This was looong at 2hr25m. Still 4.6/5 stars.
313. Changing Lanes. Fast-paced (for the most part) thriller about two men (Ben Affleck & Samuel L (side note: why is it the latter always plays an unstable person?)) whose lives collide when one of them leaves the scene of a traffic accident, creating chaos in their lives. The ending was a bit of a cop out but the rest of the movie was pretty good. 3.9/5 stars.
314. Love Story. Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal as a young couple who fall in love regardless of their opposite backgrounds and have to face tragedy. Pretty good despite the repetitive score which I will likely have in my head for the next 5 years. 4/5 stars.
315. The Great Debaters. Great film based on a true story about a black debate team at Wiley College in 1935 that competed against the top white debate team of the time (Harvard in the film, USC in actuality). There were some historical things that threw me off but overall, I really enjoyed this film. And I'm going to need every last one of the hats Jurnee Smollet wore. Especially the black one before she got on the train to Boston. HAWT!! 4/5 stars.
316. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in a classic movie about an interracial couple in the 1960s. A little too obvious and preachy for my tastes at times. Why was KH teary-eyed this entire film? Very strange. Also the ages of KH and ST (who died 17 days after filming ended) were so creepy and odd since their daughter is supposed to be 23 and they look 70. It's amazing to me that almost 50 years later things are so different and yet still so similar, the opposition by some to interracial relationships. 3.8/5 stars.
317. Music and Lyrics. I was really surprised to like the first 1/3 of this movie. Then it really started to drag. The premise is Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore meet by chance and compose a song together in less 2 days which may make the 80s has-been (Grant) a star again. The plot was predictable, as you would expect from this movie, but after the first 1/3 I really hoped it would be less predictable. But Grant has great comedic timing. He cracks me up. So thanks also to whatever writer put those words in his mouth. 3.3/5 stars.
318. Kiss the Girls. Wow... really good serial abductor/killer thriller with Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman as a woman who escapes and the forensic psychologist who tries to help her find her abductor before he kills again. The only thing I couldn't get with was a serial anything who goes with all white girls except one. Come on. That's not how they operate. Nevertheless 4.8/5 stars.
319. Blame it on Fidel. French film from the perspective of a little girl whose parents decide to join the revolution on the side of the communists, much to her chagrin. Cute. I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of the film. It began to drag in the last 20 minutes or so almost as if the screenwriter didn't know where to end. 3.9/5 stars.
320. Walk, Don't Run. Cary Grant movie set in Tokyo during the Olympics (his last film). The hijinks you would expect from one of his films were present if not overplayed in one or two scenes. The film had some drawn out sections but still overall quite amusing. I approve. Lol. 4/5 stars.
321. Real Women Have Curves. America Ferrera as a recent high school grad who has to decide whether to apply for college against her immigrant mother's wishes. Bizarre to have to fight to go to college, huh? Very slow plot and some bad acting despite the rather interesting concept. 3/5 stars.
322. The Ladykillers. Slow-moving classic (one of Peter Sellers' early major roles) about 5 robbers who try to kill an old lady when she finds out about their scheme. It was kind of boring for the first 80 minutes. Interesting enough that I didn't necessarily want to turn away but not riveting until the last 10 minutes. Then it was riveting and hilarious. The end saved the film. 4/5 stars.
323. Breakfast at Tiffany's. Another Audrey Hepburn classic. This one about essentially a fabulously-dressed gold digger with a mysterious past. Her jail visiting hat? NEED! NEED NEED NEED!! Wow! I see why people go crazy over the fashion in this film. So fab. The plot was just okay for me. It was interesting enough but over the top in some respects. The fashion gets 4.8 stars, but the film gets 3.4/5.


Stop the Madness!!

I almost had to fight my sister earlier this week. Tuesday morning I wasn't awakened by my body or the phone or any of the normal culprits, but by the sound of her loudly proclaiming, "Wooooow." I look at the clock and it's 8:35 AM!!! NO!!! What happened to you???? Who are you???? This stranger who has loud, GUFFAWING conversations at 8:30 in the morning, until she leaves at 9:15 with me now wide awake after trying to sleep for 45 minutes? Ugh. I don't know but I can't stand you.

I don't ever want to be up at 8:30 in the morning and have nowhere to go. I really don't want to be up that early with somewhere to go unless it's a well-paying and fulfilling job. I would prefer if it started later in the day, though. My last job had the worst hours I never want to work again in my life. 1am-10am OR 11pm-10am. SUCKTASTIC!! Hated it. I was always AT WORK for my favorite bedtime (3 am) and can't even do something normal on my off days because it RUINS me for the rest of the week. I had the least interesting life (outside of the gym... lol) while in Pittsburgh, but that's part of the reason I started this blog so I guess something good came of it.

In case it's not yet clear, I never have been and don't think I ever will be a morning person. I was a "night owl" as my parents call me, even as a baby. My mom said when my dad was in town (he traveled a lot for work) he would stay up with me. I would wake up at 11 and not go back to bed until 3 or 4. A baby g! Lol. I can't stand morning. This is why I need cities that have stuff happening 24 hours. Not even parties. I just need to be able to conduct business all day. Also a reason why I love the internet. I can find some company in the middle of the night. AND Rashan is a night owl, too! Hootie hoo!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. I

I've decided to do a new weekly series called Monday Mindspacing where I just let loose on the things on my mind but not long enough to warrant a blog post.
1) I can see the difference between Luke and Owen Wilson but I can never remember which name belongs to who and who was in what movie.
2) My 25-year-old sister asked me to be her personal assistant this summer. Really?
3) I'm appalled by the DVD collection in my mom's house. It's full of movies no one should see more than once if ever. When I suggest docs they (my mom and sister) both look at me like, "Is she serious?" It's not like they're uncultured. They just like really bad, predictable movies.
4) Stacey cracks me up with her answering machine rants about whatever is irritating her at the moment. Hilarity! We like to leave outrageously long, one-sided conversations, usually with some sort of song, on each other's phones, up to 5 minutes.
5) I've been really pissed off by the barbeque I've had lately. Bah. I want some really good food.
6) I used to be a fast food fiend (partly because my mom never let us have it growing up) but that desire is leaving me more and more daily (mostly because it's so hit or miss-- mostly miss).
7) I was waaaaay too excited when I learned that both of the grocery stores within 5 minutes of my mom's house are 24 hours.
8) I can't WAIT to go to the library! I love the library! Love of my life!
9) At the Hampton Alumni Charlotte cookout Saturday, a woman asked me if I went to Latin... as in Charlotte Latin... high school. Even better? Before I went to the cookout, I said to myself, "Cute! Now let's hope people don't think I'm a student." Got what I wished for. Not a student at Hampton, in high school. I know that's supposed to be a good thing but really? 10 years younger? Le sigh. That one hadn't even crossed my mind. But then when I went to buy wine, the girl waved away my i.d. I guess I magically aged over 3 hours.
10) I love that my friends ask about each other. My closest friends are a mix of middle school and college and they ask about each other even though some of them have never met. I love that! It's so cute!
11) Favorite clothing line name I recently spotted in Nordstrom: Not Your Daughters Jeans. Hilarity.
12) I just gave up my InStyle subscription. It's increasingly skewed toward celebs. Drives me insane. Talking about their clothes? Great, sure, whatever. All that other crap-- the parties, lunches, causes-- I DON'T CARE!! This is supposed to be a fashion magazine!! I felt a little remorseful when I saw the ONE MORE ISSUE paper over my latest mag until I opened it and it was, true to form, even more celeb-obsessed than the last. SAVE IT FOR PEOPLE OR US WEEKLY!! Stick with your niche! Lord knows we don't need another celeb gossip rag. Ugh. Good riddance.