Movies 2010, Week 4

January 24-30, 2010
Some really really boring movies this week.  Merely mediocre.  But I still couldn't stop watching.
31) Let's Make Love. Marilyn Monroe film about a rich man being parodied in a play who joins the cast after seeing the star... who happens to hate him.  Very amusing from the first 15 minutes.  I thoroughly enjoyed  this film.  It would've been even better if the synopsis hadn't given away so much.  Very fun.  4.6 stars
32) Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.  A documentary about three 2nd graders murdered and the teenagers accused of committing the crime.  Beautifully shot, masterfully edited in the first 30 minutes.  I was into the film immediately.  GREAT access to the involved parties.  Then in the 2nd trial, it starts to feel like real time and far too long.  3.4 stars
33) Third Finger, Left Hand. Myrna Loy film about a woman who pretends to be married to keep her job but of course then finds a guy she likes.  I was disturbed to hear "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."  Amusing film.  Loy was awesome.  3.5 stars
34) Whip It. Ellen Page stars as a beauty pageant winner turned roller derby winner.  When is she going to stop playing a teenager?  Lots of familiar face: Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, Kristen Wiig (SNL), Eve but none of them really did anything.  This movie was basically just there.  Not terrible but not that great either.  3.4 stars
35) Everything is Illuminated.  Liev Shrieber wrote & directed this Elijah Wood film about a Jewish collector who goes in search of the truth about his ancestors in the Ukraine.  In trying to be deep, things made no sense or were unnecessarily obscured.  3.4 stars
36) Bunny Lake is Missing.  Otto Preminger-directed 1965 film about a preschooler who goes missing and police begin to wonder if she ever existed.  Kind of slow at the beginning but worth it for the twist in the middle.  Sir Laurence Olivier makes and appearance.  4.2 stars
37) Shower.  Chinese film about a son who comes home to visit after a long stay away from his father and mentally handicapped brother who run a bath house. Interesting at times but toward the middle the plot started bouncing jarringly.  Very strange.  3.2 stars
38) Stage Door.  Kathareine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers (with a small part from Lucille Ball) star in the story of aspiring actresses, including one determined not to use her rich father's connections.  I laughed, I almost cried.  Not the tightest story line but still one I mostly enjoyed.  3.7 stars
39) Adam's Rib. Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn are married lawyers on opposite sides of the same case which makes for some hairy situations.  The end was unnecessarily protracted and the scene transitions were a tad corny but overall an amusing story. 3.9 stars


Snow in the South

For you Yankees out there laughing at the southerners huddled in their houses for a few flurries, let me explain.  Now, after living in Pittsburgh, it does make me laugh but I also completely understand.  Northern cities have millions of dollars in their snow budgets, a tried and true network of salting and snow plows and people who not only know how to drive in the snow but do it on a regular basis.  Even with all of that, there are still multi-car accidents and fatal accidents when it snows.

Now take all of those things and get rid of them and add temperatures where it warms above freezing temporarily to melt some of the snow then freezes it to make what, boys and girls?  Ice.  Yeah no.  You get out and drive in snow and ice with thousands of people who have never done it before or who have only done it a few times.  You are out there with nuts speeding then spinning out and crashing right in front of you and snow and slush-covered roads, sometimes with a few ice patches.  Not cool.  Everybody stay in the house.  My next city got 6.8 inches.  I'm not ready.  But this is why I gave myself a 2-year snow sabbatical.  Because I deserve it and I KNEW my next city would have snow.  I just knew it.  I'm really gonna try to enjoy you while I have you, Florida, with your sunshine and your palm trees and your clear blue skies.  I have to stop talking about snow.  I'm starting to miss you already.  *sniff*


Picture Time!

While I was coming up with the content for my lecture to the NationalBroadcastingSociety on campus (they want me to talk about my experiences and my program), I brought out this picture from my time in Pittsburgh.  I loved seeing this view when I was working early mornings.  The daily sunrises almost made up for the ungodly hours.  Almost. 

I haven't seen a sunrise in over a year.  Lol.  I've been awake for them a couple of times but usually because I wasn't yet asleep from the night before.  I told you my sleeping patterns are jacked up!

For New Year's Rashan and I went to see the peach drop in Atlanta.  When I tell you it was THE most underwhelming thing, I MEAN IT!!  Do you see how miniscule that peach is?  It was probably about 5 feet at it's largest point... and it dropped a whopping 20 feet.  There was no audible group countdown.  SO LAME!!!  But Morris Day & the Time was there and once everybody left we could actually get in position to see and hear him.  That was kind of cool until he brought up women to shake on the stage with him.  When he lined them up with their butts facing the audience I had to leave.  Are you serious with that?  You are 50 years old!!  Leave that at the LilWayne concert.  Time to step up your act.  Ugh.  So annoying.  But how cute do me and Rah look?  Very!  Lol.  After this we searched the city for a place to eat but everywhere had a 30-45 minute wait for breakfast... yeah... we went home and cooked.  I don't remember what we ate, though.

Why was there a squirrel chillin on my mom's front porch when we drove up one day?  And let us get crazy close!  Dude... are you serious with that?  Apparently he does this on a regular basis because my mom said he thinks he lives there... Uh... you don't!  Hilarious!  I asked her if she feeds it and she got indignant.  Lol.  Why would he keep coming on YOUR porch sniffing around?  So funny.

I met my cousin's son for the first time Christmas day.  My aunt (his grandma) held him up to the tree so we could all coo at him as he awakened and take photographs.  He took the photography like a champ!  (My genes.)  I love how it looks like she's about to place in on the tree like a little ornament.  Lolol.  He's even cuter in person.

And this final picture is from going to see the Princess and the Frog in Charlotte with my friend Classy Jojo.  So fun!  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was her second time seeing it.  The first time was at her home in New Orleans with her niece.  How exciting to see it there!  And she said the entire theater cheered at the end.  So cool!  :)  How about she also said her and her sister had bought her niece an outfit to wear and she said, "I don't wanna.  I'm gonna look dumb."  They said, "You're six! Put it on."  Lololol.  How cute do I look in this picture?  I guess I should let you guys tell me about my awesomeness instead of preempting it, huh?  Whatevs.  I figured since it's been a while since I showed you what I look like I could do it in post form with a little catch up of the things I hadn't shared!


It's Party Time!

"Oh it's party time! Havin a partay! Come on!" -ODB (RIP lol)

Maaaaan guess what?  I'm hosting a Super Bowl party at my place!  Yessssss!  I love to host parties!  It's going to be a pot luck with my classmates but I'm thinking of doing a New Orleans theme since I'm rooting for the Saints (GEAUX GEAUX GEAUX!!).  I don't want anyone thinking they're coming in my house without that being true!  Lol.  I have looked up a couple of recipes for regular and cinnamon pralines which you can make ahead of time.  I also found something called spinach balls that sounds pretty easy since I need some vegetarian stuff, too.  I think I'm going to also bring my white bean dip out again since it was a hit last time and is very easy.  I need a bigger food processor, though for making party dips.  My cute little baby is fine for dinner for 2 but for parties, it's a hassle.  Oh and how could I forget?  GUMBO!!!!!!!!!!!!  Any suggestions?

Does anyone have any NOLA cocktails that DON'T require me to buy exotic ingredients like 2 kinds of bitters?  Probably a daiquiri.  I won't make a lot but a pitcher should be great.  I'm also thinking I want to try barbeque nachos!  Mmmmm!  I bet those will be awesome!!!  Just like at the game!



(I found another word those Brits and Canucks refuse to z-ify.)

Three weeks into the semester I've decided to really buckle down and get organised!  (I'm gonna keep doing that until it starts to annoy me... probably about one more time.)  Better than my usual method: with three weeks LEFT in the semester... lol.  Mess.  I stay on top of due dates (especially the big ones that could keep me from graduating) usually but sometimes when things are coming up at the beginning of the next month, they sneak up on me.  I have two lectures next month and a rough cut due.  I've started all of them in one form or another so that's good to know!  But I know I could be much more efficient in my use of time.

I did a search for organisation (except I spelled it with a z) schedule and got a tip I really liked: make a master list and set up a schedule around completion of that master list.  Some of the things I put on my master list are visit one of the museums on campus that's free for students once a week, go to a basketball game, just so you don't think I don't have any fun planned!  All work and no play makes Jameil a raving lunatic.  I need to figure out some way to get myself completely on board with the whole schedule thing and I think it's going to start with planning specific things for specific days and specific times.  I'll let you know when I get it down pat.  What helps you (she asks again)?

*If you're wondering if I lost the daily blogging competition with Rashan, I posted on The Record Dish yesterday about egg nog cupcakes.  Rashan said that doesn't count... what?  The goal is to post daily... considering I post on the Record Dish (Stace and my's food blog) AND this blog, I'm blogging circles around you, Rashan!  Go sit down!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 33

1) People should not be allowed to respond on fb (or anywhere else) if they are going to only state the obvious.  Do you REALLY think that clever/sarcastic dude doesn't know he made a double entendre?  Or are you really that stupid?
2) I want a Wii Fit really badly after workin it at Stace's.  I also want someone to compete with and beat.
3) You know how there are people who looooove quotes? Count me out.  I rarely see the point in a single quote somewhere for inspiration or whatever.  But if you do, that's wonderful.  I had a friend who was obsessed with quotes and almost as obsessed w/foisting them on me despite my well-documented dislike of the same.  Face.
4) After getting rave reviews, I decided to try Google Reader.  I only like it for people who don't post regularly or whose blogs I don't comment on (mommy bloggers & the only design blog i like so far-- anyone know of any others they like?).  Then I don't have to visit their blogs and it still lets me know if they posted.  But I wish the reader at the top of the page had a number next to it so I could know whether or not to click on it when I'm in gmail.
5) I had a good time in high school... but it was 10 years ago.  I don't talk to anyone I knew from high school (I have friends from before h.s.) and I don't really want to reconnect... that's probably mean but #kanyeshrug
6) Why do British people and Canadians hate Z's?  Realise, I know there are more.  What's up with that?  Do they refuse to put Z's in names, too?
7) I'm not joining any fb group that has more than 5 words in the name.  Okay I lied.  I'm not joining any group.
8) Are y'all really gonna keep using people's mugshots on your fb pages?  Like look at my homie?
9) Was there a point where the producers of '30 Minute Meals' told Rach she didn't have to say 'EVOO, that's extra virgin olive oil' and could now just say EVOO and everyone would know what she meant?  I feel like we should be there if we're not.  Lol.
10) When I was in undergrad and said my major was broadcast journalism people were constantly asking me if I wanted to be on tv.  Whatever.  But when I said no, they would try to convince me otherwise.  Seriously?  How do you think the news gets on the air?  All the pretty people certainly don't do that work!!  Some do a little of it but all of them?  Yeah no.
11) Sometimes the smell of newsprint and raw wood makes my throat close.  Really weird.  And it's been true for as long as I can remember.  Hence the reason I hated going to the hardware store with my dad.
12) Deaf people are discriminated against by closed captioning.  Really?  You [BEEP] when they say the curse word on tv because deaf people aren't allowed to curse?  THAT'S RACIST!!  Wait... that's a Dave Chappelle sketch.  Beep it for all or beep it for none!  Deaf power!
13) "You kicked the game-winning field goal! How does it feel!?" "HORRIBLE! I'VE HAD NIGHTMARES ABOUT THIS MOMENT!!"  Find another way to do post-game interveiws.  That is an idiotic question.


Movies 2010, Week 3

January 17-23, 2010
I'm glad I got some docs in here this week.  When I don't it feels quite strange.  I also gave myself a little break.  Yippee!!!
25) No Impact Man.  Documentary about a man who made a vow for a year to make no impact on the environment and involved his wife and young daughter.  Without his wife for doses of normalcy, this film would be impossible to watch.  I really liked watching her challenge him.  She's pretty awesome.  You don't have to be an environmental nut to make a difference but this guy went to so many extremes and said it over and over again.  I was a bit bored after not very long but impressed with his dedication until it seemed like the crazy knew no limits.  I wish the passage of time was more clearly marked in this film.  You had no idea where in the process they were or how they decided to make this change and wy.  Also, why do you have to be so extreme?  This film would've benefitted from more observational sequences to get a break from all the talking.  I'm also curious about how, if at all, the filmmakers changed in the course of this film.  I had one of the most difficult times I've ever had distinguishing the topic of the film from the filmmaking.  But maybe that also speaks to the filmmaking.  Because I have definitely been enamored with the cinematography or whatever in other films and not cared one lick for the subject matter.  3.2 stars
26) Talk of the Town. Cary Grant (my 2nd favorite dead guy-- to Malcolm X) film about a fugitive, the woman who hides him and her tenant.  Interesting twists and turns but eventually just mediocre.  3.4 stars
27) All About My Mother. 1999 winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.  Pedro Almodovar directs this Spanish film about mothers.  Beautiful.  Penelope Cruz was captivating as was Cecilia Roth.  A very well-acted film with unobtrusive direction.  4.5 stars
28) Note By Note: The Making of Steinway L1037.  Though the shots in this grand piano documentary were interesting-ish, I felt like just by using a different angle-- above or below could've made them much more interesting.  They appeared later in the film in fantastic fashion but I wanted them to get into them.  Maybe more explanations earlier on?  The opening is just a bit boring.  The final tone inspector sequence explaining piano differences was beautiful.  The resting room was quite nice as well.  The rolling shots were a serious strength.  The film still felt longer than it should be.  I wondered very early on if the workers like piano or learned how to play.  I enjoyed watching the pianists select their instruments.  I had no clue all this went into it!  Real talk: Harry Connick, Jr. made this film even more delightful.  Lol.  Some of those really interesting shots from different angles of the piano selections were amazing.  It's strange to me that I could tell there were at least 2 editors and at least 2 cinematographers (4 it turns out).  The sound was beautiful.  Great access (understandably from a business perspective).  3.6 stars
29) Summer Hours.  French film about an elderly woman divvying up her valuable collection (art and furniture, etc.) among her children who want to hear nothing about her dying.  I started this last week but finished it this week (horrid, I know).  Kind of boring.  Strangely abrupt ending.  3.2 stars
30) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  Classic Frank Capra film starring Jean Arthur and James Stewart about a politician who goes to DC and tries to remain an idealist and fight a political machine.  This film reminds me of all the years the leadership of this country consisted only of white men and grateful that that day no longer exists.  I enjoyed parts of it but some parts dragged or were too precious.  3.4 stars



Here we go again, right?  It's the beginning of the year and I have a list of upcoming due dates looming along with my assistantship.  I've already decided I will not be participating in any outside organizations this semester.  The last time I hung out with the black grad students I felt like an outsider because they had all these little cliques formed.  Oh well.  I'll be outta here in a few months.  I'll help my sorors out where I can but I can't be active right now.  Between school, work and finishing my film I have to focus on what's most important to me getting out of this state by June.  But clearly that means I need to FOCUS!!  I need times where I schedule not to look at the internet because I get sucked into twitter, the NYT, blogs, facebook, email, look up and 45 minutes have passed.  I'm giving lectures on February 3rd and 9th.  My first rough cut of my film is due on the 15th.  I have tons of transcription and archival footage to wade through.  Of course my down time includes watching movie and talking to Rashan.  I also need a master to-do list.  Any suggestions?

Probably my biggest issue is sleep.  I go to bed too late and wake up too late.  It's my natural body clock but I want to adjust it.  Maybe just go to sleep a few hours earlier and wake up a few hours earlier.  It really doesn't help that my classes on Monday and Wednesday don't start until 4:05 pm.  It's the perfect excuse to sleep until noon and still have HOURS to accomplish stuff before class.  I know, I know, the complaints I have.  I don't want to set myself up for failure for the next phase of life.  Bah.  At least Rashan's here.  That always helps.  Too bad I have pages and pages of reading awaiting me for my assistantship.  I'll just mix it in to my Rah time!


Lessons in Film Viewing Pt. IV

More lessons from the 750 films I watched in 2009...

36) I don't understand when people want to argue with me about my like or dislike of a film.  Debate?  Okay, maybe but it's probably easier for both of us if we agree to disagree.  I didn't like it and I don't have to just as the reverse is true for you.  I will say it again.  NO.  I did not like The Big Lebowski.  So. what.  Did you notice how everyone who's obsessively appalled by this is white and male?  Did you also notice I'm a black female?  I'm not saying that's (necessarily) why you liked it and I didn't...  But it likely plays a role.
37) Personal films are really boring.  It's hard for them to catch my attention, even harder to keep it.  They're not all bad but a lot of them are.  Can't you just keep that in your family?
38) I don't really like JohnC.Reilly but I'm not sure why.
39) I'm surprised by how much Toni Collette's acting delights me.  (Yes I am ALL OVER U.S. of Tara now that I can watch tv again!)
40) I write reviews "Britishly" after watching British films.  I use strangely British phrasing.
41) When I say long, that doesn't necessarily refer to the length.  It more refers to how it feels.  If your movie is 60 minutes and I'm doing the seat shuffle and looking at my watch, something's not right.  THE MILK'S GONE BAD!!
42) It's exasperating when people say, "OMG I can't believe you've never seen that before!"  Where have you been?  That's clearly the point of me watching 750 films this year.
43) I don't know what's worse: classic films without any black people or classic films where the only roles for black people are maids and wide-eyed chauffeurs.  I'm going with where the only roles for blacks are demeaning. 
44) Watching films makes me want to know more about the stars of those films... but just in the classic ones.  I know too much, more than I want to know, about current stars.
45) I like searching for familiar faces and names in classic films!  I love when I recognize a face from 30 or 40 years before I knew them and say, "Hey! That's Mr. Feeny!" or whoever it is.
46) I'm fascinated by some cool and unusual items I see in movies that you don't see like that today-- clocks, cigarette holders, hats, miniature cameras.  It makes me want these things very badly!!  I'm most amazed by the old school telephones that required operators and they used these giant switchboards and all these cords.  So cool!
47) I give the best reviews when I write them during or immediately after viewing.  Otherwise they start to run together a little.
48) People get incredibly pissed if your title doesn't allude to what's actually in the movie.  You should see the reviews for this film called "The Natural History of Chickens" which is not at all about that.  That title actually does a funny film a disservice because people feel betrayed about what they're going to get out of it and probably dissuades some people who would enjoy it from watching a film with so boring a title.
49) I feel really triumphant when people watch a movie they didn't think they were going to like and they like it!  Like HA!  I SHOWED YOU!!  And I didn't even make the film!  Lolol.  But I feel like, just give it a try!!  (Says the one who avoided LOTS of long movies last year...)
50) Some critics predispose themselves to like a film just because it's foreign.  Sigh.  That doesn't make you deep.  A bad script is bad whether in French, English, Dutch, Japanese or Spanish or or or!
51) I very frequently let Netflix talk me out of movies.  Did you say that's a 2.4 guess for me?  PASS.   Sometimes it's wrong on the comedies because Netflix really doesn't believe I have a sense of humor but most of the time if it's in the 2.7 and below I am giving that movie a big no thanks.  And sometimes when I'm somewhere looking at DVDs I wish I had Netflix around to tell me whether I should bother to check it out.  Lolol.  I know I know, I need a smartphone but I don't like smartphone bill prices so NOPE!

Finally (ish... because who knows how long these epiphanies will continue to come) I'm really excited about how much I learned and I hope I can apply some of these lessons and criticisms to my own films to put out continually quality work.  One of my professors said I'll make a bad film one day after I was particularly harsh.  Ew.  I'm going to work incredibly hard to skip that particular life lesson.

In case you missed the earlier installments:
Pt. I
Pt. II



Know why?  Because all I want to be doing right now is sitting in front of my tv watching Project Runway and instead I have about 50 minutes until it comes on.  I could do something else but I don't really want to get all into something only to have to stop immediately at 9:58.  I have had two AWESOME days in a row!  Like all day happy things kept happening to me.  And honestly, Tuesday was pretty awesome, too.  I had a wonderful interview with one of the subjects of my film today.  He was so open and honest and thanked us profusely for telling his story.  We got the same thanks on Monday after interviewing another Civil Rights activist who is frequently left out of history books.  Talking to them makes me feel so young (they're in their late 60s and early 70s) and so small.  The idea of these people who were 19 and 20 years old at the time, changing the world one protest, sit-in, or picket line at a time is sometimes overwhelming.  And when they talk about how they were treated I seriously have to compose myself. 

When people talk about how nothing's changed since the 1960s, I want to shake them.  These people WENT TO JAIL so I could do what I love without any restrictions: eat in a restaurant, sit in a movie theater and travel wherever I want and at the end of my trip, stay at a hotel.  Black people couldn't do any of those things just 50 years ago-- in our parents' lifetimes.  Working on this film has made that even clearer.  I do things almost daily that they struggled to give me the chance to do.  So awesome.  OF COURSE there is so much work left to do to try to fix the disparities among the races in this country, in the schools, in the workplace, in housing, I'm sure you could name so many more.  But don't negate the gains that have been made.

And tomorrow, Rashan is coming to see me so we can enjoy some of the very things I talked about in this post.  It's been 2.5 weeks-- one of the longest times we've been apart.  I can't wait to see him!


Special Announcement

No, I'm not pregnant or getting married.  Yes, I PROMISE I will let all of you know not as soon as I find out but eventually.  Lol.  And I won't be one of those bloggers who pops up pregnant and you find out she's 9.5 months along and you're like YOU LIED TO ME!!!  YOU LEFT ME OUT OF YOUR LIFE AND I HATE YOU, MOM!!  Lolol.

Anyway, since I left my camera at my classmate's house and he lives practically in another country by Gainesville standards, I have to wait until he locates it and brings it to our lab to post the kindergarten post.  ANYWAY.  So I've been teasing to this special announcement for months or at least a month.  It's part of my New Year's Resolution.  My program was discontinued here which means we're the last class.  We finish our master's degrees in May (I almost said the spring and then realized... this is the spring.... ACK).  At that point, (most of) our professors (3 out of 4) will move up to W.akeForest to begin a new (or continuation of the old one) documentary program. 

This one will offer a master's and an Masters of Fine Arts.  The latter is a terminal degree which means it's the highest you can go in a chosen field.  You can be hired as a professor as if you had a PhD because essentially in your field it IS a PhD, and accrue tenure.  I've applied to the MFA program.  It's one year and a great opportunity.  I've always seen myself teaching one day when I decide I need a mini career break so I might as well get the necessary education while I'm (again, for those of you who weren't listening) single and childless.  So we should find out in the next month or two "officially" whether we got in.  Oh since I said we, all of my classmates have applied.  AWESOME!!!!  The thought of being with everyone for another year is so cool!


Mini Weekend Recap

I had an AWESOME time hanging with Stace in West Palm Beach!  We got that party started RIGHT!  We got that party started QUICKLY.  Very quickly as a matter of fact!  As soon as I got there, I opened my Christmas gifts from her-- whoo hoo!!, Stace changed out of her frog pajamas (IDK why) and we went to get some SUSHI!!!  Yesssss!  Since she loves sushi & Rashan most decidedly does not, Stace and I always eat sushi when we're together.  We had a ton of yumminess including eel (for me), tempura shrimp (for her), deep fried soft shell crab and gobs of sushi.  Then we went window shopping but inside... lol.  Then we decided to go to her homie's club.  We had a BLAST talking junk about people but I apparently drank a mind eraser because I needed the pictures to remind me of the horribleness we saw!!  I didn't even drink that much.  We didn't go to sleep until 4:45 am.  My mom said respectable young ladies get in earlier than that.  Lololol.  She also once told me I shouldn't kiss before I get married.  I asked her if she did that....... LOLOL!!  I'm not saying I have ever kissed anyone but did you, mom?  *innocent face*

The next day Stace made an AWESOME breakfast of spinach, black bean, garlic, cilantro and mushroom omelette with roasted garlic salsa (which I got promptly addicted to and may now have to be buried in-- just sprinkle it inside my casket) and fresh avocado.  YUMMMMMMMMM!!  Loved it!  We wii fitted it up and just chilled until she cooked (sorry Mom!! (no. 8)) dinner--- tropical chicken, basmati rice w/cilantro, black beans and corn with more roasted salsa!!!  YESSS!!  Why did her neighbors have a LOUD party until 5am and not invite us?  I had an early shoot but STILL!!  Haters.  I so would've crashed if I hadn't had to wake up at 8 for a shoot (which means I was heated about the party).

Yesterday morning she cooked breakfast for me before I went to Miami for my shoot.... in the longest parade of my entire life (and most disorganized but whatever).  Then we interviewed one of our film subjects, I saw exit 1A on I-95, WOW that's far south!!!, I headed back to Palm Beach where Stace had made chilaquiles (basically Mexican lasagna).  SPOILED!!  Clearly I never wanted to leave!  Lol.  This morning I woke up to go hang with Stace and the kinders and got LAZY.  I still made it in time and had so much fun that gets its own recap tomorrow with pictures!  Yay!  I had to come back before I originally planned because my lost in Haiti friends are being feted with a welcome back party tonight.  I'm about to go make some awesomeness.  Recipe to come on The Record Dish (you know the food blog Stace never posts on... lol).  So I miss Stace and WPB already and will definitely return before I leave Florida, especially since I have to go to the Keys before I graduate.  Statecation here I come!!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 32

1) The word murderess is hilarious to me!  How do you add an -ess to the word murder?  To pretty it up a little?  Look at that pretty little female murderer!  Put her among the duchess and the empress.
2) I'm so over recipes calling for saffron.  You know how they say it's the most expensive spice in the world?  That's not a lie.  I priced it in the store once (a specialty store of course, they don't sell it in the grocery store) and it was $17!!  For a small packet.  Like the amount you would have of any other spice, MAYBE LESS.  Stop telling me to use that in my food when you know I'm not.
3) Sooo tired of the fb baby mama drama.  If your baby daddy is acting up, fb isn't going to change his ways.  Twitter either.
4) Sometimes when Rashan's not here I turn on 'Family Guy' to remind myself of when he's here.
5) This chick said, "Ladies night tonight! Ooooh yeah!" And someone responded, "Where?!?! No one told me nothin!!"  Because you're not invited.  Fall back.
6) It drives me absolutely batty that everything I say has bloggers sending me to the delivery room or down the aisle.  Let's all calm down now!
7) I have no use for the idea that 2010 will be wonderful for us all.  It's going to really suck for some people... like those who can't find their family members or who DIED in the earthquake in Haiti.
8) I think I should move to West Palm Beach so Stace can cook for me all the time!!!  We had spinach, black bean, cilantro & mushroom omelettes with a side of roasted garlic salsa (which I'm addicted to) and avocado.  For dinner, tropical chicken with rice, black beans, corn & MORE SALSA!!!!! MMMMM!!!  Thank you sir may I have another!!
9) Worst music EVER to have stuck in your head?  Wii music.  Yowsa that's some bad music.


Movies 2010, Week 2

January 10-16, 2010
My plan to watch 365 movies this year is going so well I'm just going to try to watch as many as possible.  I still haven't watched a movie I've seen before.  Maybe I'll keep that going, maybe I'll break out an oldie but goodie and maybe I'll take a break longer than my time in South Florida.  Who knows?
17) Food, Inc.  Documentary about how food is produced in America today.  Interesting if slanted portrayal of the factories our food is processed in and how it gets to our tables.  The "suggestions" at the end of the movie were definitely the worst part.  I liked that the film was organized by identifiable, distinct segments, there were some really cool graphics (particularly in the opening credits) and some great photography but toward the end I did feel almost like it would never end.  Some of the information felt old hat like it had been covered so much it probably didn't need to be mentioned, but for the most part I (surprisingly) didn't feel overwhelmed.  Though maybe that's not totally true because I felt like I couldn't do anything about it anyway.  3.7 stars
18) Cover Girl.  Rita Hayworth & Gene Kelly 1952 musical about a show girl turned cover girl.  Cute.  Hayworth was on it!  I loved her.  The chemistry between her and Kelly though... lacking.  Of the famous dancers, Kelly's cuter but Astaire's a much better actor.  Kelly's self-duet, though?  AWESOME!  He was magic while dancing, flat while acting.  I must say I was into the story line completely and enjoyed the film.  4 stars
19) High Noon.  Grace Kelly makes an appearance in a western about a band of "hooligans" (lol) on the noon train and the sheriff's efforts to stop them.  Some nice built-in suspense.  I could really see why my dad was so crazy about westerns and why this one in particular won 4 Academy Awards, including Best Actor.  4.4 stars
20) Role Models.  Seann William Scott, Paul Rudd, Sue Sylvester (I know that's not her real name but b/c of Glee, that's what she'll be forever known as to me).  A bad role model for cursing kids?  Ugh.  I know that was the point of it but it really could've been so much better with less of the garbage.  Some of it was hilarious and I was surprisingly pretty into it.  The last battle scene was awesome!  3.7 stars
21) Passing Strange.  Spike Lee joint (that's really just a play) about a musician who joins the music scene in Europe.  The keys song was clearly the longest of my life.  It became obvious why this movie was more than 2 hours.  The first 50 minutes or so moved quickly.  Let's move past the keys thanks.  I did enjoy the last 5 minutes of the actual show immensely which is such a change.  3.3 stars
22) Bye Bye Birdie.  Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh & Ann-Margaret star in this musical about a teenage girl chosen to kiss a heartthrob.  HILARIOUS!  Loved it.  So 60s camp!  5 stars
23) Pat and Mike.  Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy star as an athlete and her manager.  This may be my favorite Tracy role yet.  Amusing film.  3.9 stars
24) Summer Hours.  French film about an elderly woman divvying up her valuable collection (art and furniture, etc.) among her children who want to hear nothing about her dying.
25) High Society.  Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong.  YES CAST!!  1956 musical about a high society love quadrangle.  I'm getting this really strange feeling I've seen parts of this before.  I found out that's because it's a remake of "The Philadelphia Story."  The first version worked much better.  I want a dress like Grace Kelly's the night before her wedding!!  Gorg!  As was her wedding dress!  So dainty and classic!!  Amusing enough story.  Held my attention.  The end was strange though.  It didn't quite fit.  3.8 stars


Wrap That Up, B*

When we were in college, I was so excited to be in a place where I was making friends for life!  For the first time, I was meeting people from all over the country (New York, Michigan, Maine, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, California, New Jersey, Missouri, Maryland, Indiana and those were just some of the ones I was in closest proximity to), and whose parents were from all over the world (Trinidad, Ghana, Barbados, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Morocco (the latter three from the tennis teams)).  The south is much more diverse now than even 15 or 20 years ago when I was growing up.  But back then, if you lived outside of Florida, most of the people you met were likely born and raised in this country, their parents, too.  At least that was my experience.  Anyway, as I say, my horizons were being expanded and I loved it!

I was excited to learn some things from my new friends who had grown up experiencing things I knew nothing about.  This is how I got into 3-6 Mafia and UGK... Lolol.  I really started loving some HOOD music.  Stace and I clicked and for the first time I started wrapping my hair in pretty printed cloths like I was seeing on campus.  I learned the regular rolled around your palm into a sort of bun my freshman year.  Sophomore year, I wanted to expand a little bit so I said to Stace, "Does your mom wrap her hair?"  She said, "Sometimes."  I said, "Ooh! Teach me something!"  "I don't know anything."  "Come on! Yes you do! I want to learn something!" "I really don't know." "You have to know something." "Okay I have one for you."  (Triumphantly) "See? I knew it!"  She goes to work with my wrap on my head twisting madly then steps back and says, "Done."  I look in the mirror and she has just essentially dumped a pile of fabric on my head.  I looked at her like, "You batch" and she's already cracking up.  "I told you I didn't know."  HEFFA!!!!  And that was the last time I ever asked Stace anything about Ghana.  Remembering this story I am now going to skip my trip to South Florida today.

*Quote from an episode of the ever hilarious Chappelle Show


Road Trip

Even though my classmates were found safe, I'm still shaken up from the experience of not knowing where they were and having a nightmare about them Thursday morning.  One of them called me when he got back to the U.S. and the other is still in the Dominican Republic because they got separated in the crush of people in the airport.  I'll feel better when I actually see them.  A word of caution, be careful about just throwing money out to organizations.  Know where your money is going.  It's also often better to donate to an organization than to give supplies because supplies have to be shipped at an additional cost which means less money to spend on actual supplies.  There are organizations that buy in Haiti (or whatever the effected country is) as a way to also stimulate the local economy and provide aid at the same time.  Former President Clinton has a foundation and I'm thinking of donating to Doctors Without Borders.

I have a shoot for my film in Miami on Monday (bummer, right?  Lol) so I'm going down to Palm Beach tomorrow to kick it with Stace in the interim.  I want to visit the kinders, too so they can see how awesome Miss Jameil is!  Ow!  You know what I'm most focused on though, right?  FOOD!!  I can't wait to eat some awesomeness!!  I want sushi since we always eat that together, I wouldn't mind some Mexican and I think we can team up to do some great things in the kitchen!  I know we can!  This is gonna be great.  I can get some work done, see my homie, eat some great food and relax.


Lessons in Film Viewing Pt. III

And so we pick up where we left off in our film lessons learned from watching 750 films in 2009.

24) I don't want to watch your uncut OR your unrated versions of your films!  You can keep that!!  No really.  Please keep that.  Uncut is way too long, unrated is almost always way too raunchy.  Pass.  Like can you imagine the unrated version of S.uperbad?????  There's probably not a single scene you would let anyone under 25 watch unsupervised.  Lol.
25) More and more I agree with Roger Ebert.  I feel aggrieved to learn this.  *sniff sniff*  I always heartily, fervently and rather harshly disagreed with him and prided myself on it.  Now I probably agree with him more than disagree.  LE SIGH!!
26) My disdain for reading synopses has only been slightly abated.  I don't like them because they give too much away.  The suspense would be higher and the scenes more interesting if you didn't tell all that in the blurb.  Now I'll read a sentence or two, and sometimes the whole blurb to make sure I actually want to see it.  If I can tell in the first sentence, let's proceed.  I could've saved myself from some terrible films if I'd only read at least a sentence!
27) Reviews are stupid.  There are times I wholeheartedly agree, but there are other times I just want you to shut up because you make no sense.  That said, I read reviews.  LOL!!  NOW.  I used to ignore them.  However, I've found if you read multiple, it's a lot easier to cut through the foolishness and get to the common thread which is usually the grain of truth.  That means getting rid of the outliers.  People who give 1 or 5 star reviews are usually too effusive in either direction to pay attention to but the 2, 3, and 4 star reviews are usually worth reading.  The critics are all over the place.  There are a couple indie publication reviewers that irritate me because they don't like ANYTHING so I ignore them, too.
28) It's really weird to watch people I've only known as old (or dead) people in my lifetime as young, sometimes passionate, sometimes n.aked people.  I begin to see them in a new light.  It brings out my interest in the elderly.  I always wonder what they were like when they were young.
29) I love watching movies with Rashan.  Through the course of our relationship we have to have already watched literally hundreds of films together, mostly on the phone.  We watch them almost entirely in silence, then rate & discuss.
30) I think it's strange when people say, "I know you didn't like that movie, but I still want to see it."  Good for you!  I think you should!  And I mean that completely.  These opinions are solely mine.  I've told you what I think is a waste of time but as subjective as films are, you should definitely not take my word for it if you think you'll disagree.  Far be it from me to save, I mean, keep (Lol) you from seeing something you'll really enjoy.
31) When I watch foreign films I get so caught up in blocking out or absorbing (if French or Spanish) the language and reading subtitles that I don't realize when they switch to English for a song or a few words.  The first several times I noticed that I was so disturbed!  How do you not realize your native tongue??  Lolol.  Rashan and I make a point when watching them together to say, "Hey! That's English!"  Lolol.  Yes, yes it is.
32) I like it when films  give me a preview of what's going to happen before I have to watch 3 minutes of credits.  By this I mean it jumps right into the action, then shows credits, then continues the film.  There was a period of time in the 1960s where there would be 3-5 minutes of credits before you saw a single face.  Terrible.
33) I cannot stand double endings.  This drives me INSANE!  Do not have a film come to a natural conclusion, then keep going.
34) I didn't expect the things I learned would transform how I view my previously favorite films.  That sounds strange now but it wasn't even a consideration at the beginning.  I still haven't seen any of my favorites in almost a year.  I think I'm kind of scared.
35) I HATE SPECIAL FEATURES!!!! H A T E T H E M!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVERRRRRRRR WANT TO SEE ANY THING ON THE SPECIAL FEATURES!!!!  I HATE IT!!!!  Okay okay that's an exaggeration.  Maybe sometimes I'll watch something on them but when I give them a try I'm usually like, who cares.  Next movie.  Even now.

In case you missed the earlier installments:
Pt. I
Pt. II


No News is Good News **UPDATED**

26 hours after the earthquake hit Haiti, I still have no news of my classmates.  They are in Haiti near Port-au-Prince right now shooting for their thesis film.  We all had the option of filming the topic of our choice.  Their topic happened to surround an aid program in Haiti.  This is at least their 3rd trip to the country.  They left Monday and were supposed to return tomorrow.  We're a close-knit class.  We're the last to come through our program at our university, there are only 9 of us, and we all get along.  I usually ride with one of the ones missing when we have any group outings.

Last night when I heard the earthquake hit, I was AMAZED!  7.0???  And right near their location???  WOW!!  Then we started getting these horrible reports.  Not cool.  But I was still like well, hopefully they're all right and shooting and they'll be able to get out in a reasonable amount of time (I was assuming the airport was at least temporarily closed).  I also figured things were crazy and we'd hear from them by morning.

I had an early shoot for my own film which meant I was up at 7:15 (yuck).  Still no news.  Okay.  It's really early, I know phone lines are down, who knows what kind of generators they do or do not have where they are?  But by the time we got out at 10, still no word.  I did some research for 2 hours.  Still no word.  I'm checking facebook and one of my friend's sister (who I'd met when she came down last year) friended me and was asking to be kept in the loop if we hear anything.  By this point I'm feeling more than a little bit uneasy.  I call her when we get a (meager) update that they're still trying to get in contact but thankfully all the buildings they were likely to be in were one story.  She'd heard already but just hearing her sounded a bit shaky made me feel shaky.  So the nap I planned became a lot harder.  I called Rashan and chattered away, tried to go to sleep, then called my mom to pray.  We prayed, I laid there thinking, then slept for about 45 minutes before I had to get up for the class I assist.

When I got there it was a bit odd because the professor I assist gave me a worried look and asked how I was and I was still a bit shaky but I kept it together.  We had class and I was glad I had gone because it took my mind off of the lack of information.  I had texted my classmates earlier to make sure they would call or text me if they got any word.  Still nothing.  But at this point, I decided no news was good news.  Then a few minutes ago I saw the statement from the university president about them still being unaccounted for... It seriously underscored the gravity of the situation (again).  I had to de-Haiti-fy my tv for now.  No news shows.  At least until I can get some info about my friends.  Right now I'm about to kick myself off of the internet for a while so I can stop making myself crazy by constantly checking for updates.



My Blonde Friend

I love Stace.  I really do.  That chick CRACKS ME UP!!  Partly because we have a BLAST together!!  And partly because she is SO BLONDE!!  Case in point.  I went to a banquet and the keynote speaker told a joke.  He said, "I'm going to tell you what Liz Taylor told her 2nd husband, 'I won't be here long.'"  Lol.  Know what Stace said?  "Why is he quoting Liz Taylor?"  Ummm... OR.  Why is he doing a Liz Taylor joke in a room almost completely full of black people AND in 2010... And about her 2nd husband which I'm sure was more than 50 years ago and what 6 marriages ago?  TIMELY.  ROTFL!!!  I love Stace. 

I won't even go into the China conversation BUT I have another great Stace story that has nothing to do with being blonde and that I was supposed to tell years ago!  She has this thing over spilled milk.  She might not cry over it but she will be so disgusted she... wait.  Let me back up.

When we were at Hampton, I knew she had this thing over spilled milk.  It makes her crazy.  Just seeing it she closes her eyes in disgust and has to compose herself.  My HU little brother (we all had fake little brothers/sisters that we would treat like our real little brothers/sisters-- give rides if we had cars, help them find books, whatever) spilled milk out of his overflowing cereal bowl as he was walking to his table in the cafe one day and she was like, "Ew. Look at your little brother.  So disgusting.  That nasty.  I don't like him now."  Sweetest guy!!  I was laughing... but the best is yet to come!

So we're sitting with this guy Sol and he's like, "What is her problem?"  I said, "Spilled milk grosses her out."  He's a jerkish type person and he says, "I don't get it. It's just milk.  What's the problem?"  "So what happens when she sees spilled milk?"  "It just grosses her out."  "That's crazy."  So then he decides to spill some milk on the table to see what happens.  She freaks out... but only a little.  She cuts her eyes at him and calls him names, probably curses at him and tries to regain her composure.  So Sol goes, "What happens if you spill it on her?"  I was like, "I have no idea but don't do it."  See?  I'm a good friend.  He did it anyway!  Milk dribbled down her arm.  She SCREAMED.  Wiped her arm, stood up, put her unfinished tray of food on the conveyor belt, said, "I have to go take a shower" and stormed out of the cafe PISSED.  I am DY.ING. LAUGHING!!!  You have to go take a shower?!?!?!  And she swore I put him up to it.  I DIDN'T!!!  But that didn't make it less funny!!!!!!  Oh that was hilarious!!  I'm cracking up now just thinking about it!!! 

We didn't see her for at least an hour.  She came to our dorm (she lived in a different dorm than the rest of our crew-- we almost all lived on the same floor, too) and I was like, "Where did you go???"  She said, "I told you I had to take a shower."  Incredulous, "So you really took a shower because you had milk on your arm?"  "Yes."  "You couldn't just wash your arm?"  "No."  OUT.  DEAD!!!!  ROTFCrying!!!!  SO. FUNNY!!!  And the best part?  She doesn't even know why she cries over spilled milk!  Oh I love her.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 31

1) This probably takes some of my Southern street cred but I don't like fried green tomatoes.  I'm tomato picky as you know and fried and green = nasty to me.  Yuck.  (Southern street cred already gone because I don't like iced tea, greens, yams or chitlins.)
2) Dirty condiment containers are so disgusting to me.  Like a ketchup bottle with dried ketchup all over it?  YUCK.  Please tell me that gets your home sanitation score lowered.
3) My Netflix follows me when I go to different places and that means the 'local favorites' on the site change.  Near Rashan, horrible black movies *shudder*, in Gainesville, the weirdest mix ever.  Just like the cities but still amusing.
4) I don't like eating the same thing for dinner two nights in a row.  Dinner leftovers for lunch?  Fine?  But same dinner consecutive nights?  Can't do it.  It makes me feel like life is boring.  I'm sitting down every night eating this mindless dinner, watching tv with half-shuttered lids, shoveling my fork from plate to mouth.  Open, close, open close, open close.  Then I die.
5) Purple cauliflower makes me nervous.  Why is it so obnoxiously bright, especially when cooked?  A bit frightening.  Like the hooker of cauliflower.  Vegetable of loose morals.  SMH.  You, too, blue potatoes.  HARLOT.
6) I cut my finger while cooking last week then the following day on separate occasions got jalapeno and lime juice in the cut. OUCH!!!  Some serious burn.  I also managed to get jalapeno juice IN MY EYE.  Please God never again on all 3 counts.
7) My mom thought it was so weird when I'd turn off the vents during the summer when riding in the car.  The reason: it made my eyeballs cold.  She would start cracking up!   I was so serious though..  Cold eyeballs are not the business.  Rashan thinks it's weird too.  All that cold air freezing my eyes and semi-drying them out.  I'm so straight.  Just keep the car cool.  Since it's been really cold here this last week (IN THE 20S AND 30S DURING THE DAY!!!), the heat is drying my eyes out, too.  Bah.
8) My boyfriend is the funniest little old man.  You know how some guys are creeped out by "That Crazy Lady Show" aka "Snapped"?  Not my man!  That's his bedtime story!  He puts it on to fall asleep.  I knew this already but seeing it in action?  Huh.larity.
9) When I start reading a blog in the middle of some juicy drama, I'm always SOOOO confused.  Like wait, what?  Who is this dude who knocked you up then left you when you were 8 months pregnant and y'all were supposed to be getting married????  I don't get into celebrity gossip (as I will not stop saying until people stop trying to engage me w/it) but regular blogger business?  All UP in that!!!  Lolol.  SOMETIMES.  Sometimes I'ma need y'all to stop having drama ALLLL the time!
10) I love taking Rashan shopping with me.  I like that he has opinions about shoes and clothes and knows why he doesn't like it.  He doesn't really think I like his opinions but I do!
11) After buying sriracha (Thai hot sauce), I'm really close to now putting it on EVERYTHING.  Grits, eggs, burgers, salmon, potatoes, sandwiches.  Next up: cereal, cookies & coffee!!  Lol.  Just kidding.  But savory stuff?  WHAT'S UP SRIRACHA!!!!???
12) Know what is irritating?  When I have so much to do I flit around accomplishing pieces of everything and all of nothing!!  Until I say to myself did you really pick up that towel to fold it, think of something else to do, put it down and walk away?  I also try to do things in the least amount of steps possible which means I overthink things sometimes and will turn in a circle as I decide to do this first no wait that, no this no AHHHH!!  And it's just as crazy as it sounds. 
13) I literally cannot stop watching movies.  I'm still shoveling them in at 2 and 3 a day.


Movies 2010, Week 1

January 1-9
This year, the goal is to watch 365 movies.  I definitely know I can do that!  I combined the first nine days because only 2 days were in the first 'week' of the year.  I can't stop watching movies.  It's ridiculous.  But you see I'm already ahead.  Yay!
1) Sin Nombre.  Billed as the story of an ousted gang member traveling through Central America toward the U.S., I found myself more drawn to the parallel story line of a young girl traveling to the U.S. with her father and uncle.  Beautifully shot, well-acted.  3.8 stars
2) Blind Date. Stanley Tucci co-writes, directs and stars in a film about a couple (Patricia Clarkson is the other half) pulled apart by the death of their child who use personal ads to come back together.  Seemed very indie and very improvised which was sometimes awkward.  And because of the setup you got mostly unimportant snapshots of their personalities instead of insight into their characters.  How do they know it's them?  I didn't particularly care about either of the characters.  2.4 stars
3) Don't Bother to Knock.  Marilyn Monroe plays about a babysitter spending a night alone in a hotel with a child in this 1952 film.   Anne Bancroft also makes an appearance.  Marilyn is CRAZY.  A slow start, but it turns out pretty awesome.  Best acting I've seen from her.  Finally, a non-dumb blonde role.  4.1 stars
4) Driving Miss Daisy. Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Akroyd, Patti LuPone, Esther Rolle.  A stubborn white woman reluctantly hires a black man as her chauffeur.  Very disorienting to see Freeman like this but for the most part I enjoyed the film.  4 stars
5) Meet John Doe.  Frank Capra directed film starring Barbara Stanwyck about a fired newspaper writer who pens a fake letter loved by readers.  Wow, long-winded, heavy-handed monologue.  That definitely brought the movie down.  Are you supposed to watch this and feel charitable?  You can have a feel-good movie without going quite this far.  Geez.  Downhill around the one hour mark.  And of course some degrading roles for blacks to boot.  Yikes.  2.9 stars
6) My Wife is An Actress.  French film about a man... wait for it... whose wife is an actress!  Lol.  A well-recognized one so people take irritating liberties.  Interesting-ish.  I cared about the characters for the most part but something wasn't quite there.  3.4 stars
7) Between the Fold. Documentary about modern origami.  Really interesting start shattered by amateurish narration.  Some awesome cinematography and amazing art.  Fantastic editing.  Interesting and appropriate music lost its interestingness through repetition and overuse.  I really enjoyed what felt like a journey through the evolution of origami though some of the scientific stuff toward the end dragged.  Really high technical quality.  The narration is truly a shame.  3.7 stars
8) Matchstick Men. Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell star in a Ridley Scott film about con artists, one of whom has OCD.  Pretty interesting in the outset then lagged a bit, then picked back up.  The first ending (yes, first ending) was awesome!  Unexpected and cool.  The second ending, (sigh, it's never good when there's a second ending) was trite and corny which made the good parts seem like a waste or an accident.  3.3 stars
9) The Soloist. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx star in a film based on fact about an LA Times writer and a homeless former Julliard student.  I wish there had been subtitles because Jamie Foxx spoke so quickly it was difficult to understand sometimes.  Beautiful music.  Hard to watch and sometimes boring with an interminable feeling.  Why do we need continual crazy scenes?  By the end I didn't even care what happened.  3 stars
10) Far From Heaven. Film set in the 1950s starring Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid & Dennis Haysbert about a woman living what everyone else sees as the ideal life.  Horrible font for the opening credits and title.  Ridiculous, intrusive music.  Outrageously naive story line.  I didn't believe Quaid for a second.  And Moore was back and forth.  Was this a Lifetime movie?  YUCK.  2.9 stars
11) Adam. Film about a man with Asperger's syndrome who freaks out when a cute new teacher girl moves into his apartment building.  Cutely quirky but not in a way that's trying too hard.  I enjoyed it.  Surprisingly clever.  You know how a lot of indie films try too hard and let the story line slip through the cracks?  This film didn't have that problem.  A refreshing change.  4.2 stars
12) Up. Animated kids film about an old man and a boy who go on a high-flying adventure.  Requires you to suspend a crazy amount of disbelief.  I wasn't ready for all that.  3.4 stars
13) Wake Up Sid. Indian film about a slacker with weird mid-sentence mixes of Hindi and English.  The song-led montages were ridiculous.  Do we need to have a 3-minute song montage?  I'm going with no even though the first couple were funny.  Some really lame music sometimes but that wasn't enough to make this film a bust.  Very enjoyable and amusing.  I laughed out loud several times.  3.9 stars
14) Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte. Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Agnes Moorehead film about a woman suspected of murder as a child but never proven guilty.  She's now become a curmudgeon recluse and general nuisance to the town.  What's up crazy town.  Very slow-moving story in the first third of the film which made it hard/boring to watch sometimes.  Most of the last half hour to an hour was pretty awesome!  But I don't know that it made it worth the length.  3.4 stars
15) The Little Princess.  Shirley Temple stars as an orphan under a cruel headmistress.  Strangely little interaction with children.  So corny.  I'm sure I'll assailed for that but whatever.  3.1 stars
16) Husbands and Wives.  Woody Allen, Blythe Danner, Sidney Pollack, Mia Farrow star in an Allen-written and directed film about a husband and wife whose marriage starts to unravel when their friends separate.  A very Woody production... which means it made me weary.  I will say this, a much less self-absorbed and neurotic role for himself which was a refreshing change.  I can't say it was uninteresting but for how long?  And is there a reason he always has to write in a romance with an outrageously younger woman?  So gross.  3.4 stars


Fake Names

When I was in college (and maybe a little after... maybe even this past summer), we used to give fake names to lame or annoying guys all the time at the club.  We had to weed out the crazies!  Not that that really helped because we still managed to keep some crazies around... but still!  It was also fun!  Hahahahaha.  Sometimes we had to give out fake names.  Okay okay, we didn't HAVE to give out fake names but it was fun!

I used Tameka a lot.  And regularly guys said, "You look like a Tameka."  My response?  "I know. That's because it's my name."  When I was with Kisha, I would tell people my name was Kisha because it pissed her off!!  Hahahaha!  That was hilarious!  And I also went through a phase where I told dudes my name was Brocccoleigha.  YES.  With all those Cs!!  Triple C Mafia!  Lol.  Once dude looked at me like I was nuts and I said, "That's my name."  Stone face.  He backed down.  Lol.  The best?  Stace used to tell people her name was STANKESHA.  And give them her brother's number.  MESSSSSS!!  And so funny!  Lolol.  They would call her brother's phone like, "What???"  And never call again.  AWESOME.

I used to HATE when dudes forgot my name.  I only forgave the cute ones.  Lololol.  The rest?  Or cute & annoying?  You can't remember my name after 5 minutes, you definitely can't remember or HAVE my number.  And if you badger me for my number after I say no, I'll give in.  WITH A FAKE NUMBER.  And you can call my cell b/c it's off.  So it's not gonna ring.  And what are you gonna do anyway?  Shoot me?  Then I'm REALLY glad I didn't give you my number.


Lessons in Film Viewing Pt. II

These are things I learned in the course of watching 750 movies in 2009, presented in 4 parts.  Here's the link to Pt. I if you missed it...

13) I really like Cary Grant (my sister said, "What is Cary Grant?" ... I was shocked.)... and William H. Macy.  What an odd combo.  And for very different reasons.  Well, they both make me laugh and I enjoy them in almost every role.  But Cary Grant is also because he's nice to look at!  I already knew I liked Meryl Streep, though I've definitely seen her in roles I didn't appreciate.  I think she's become a better actress as she aged which is awesome.  I like Shirley MacLaine, too but I didn't like their film together (Terms of Endearment).  Go figure.
14) I really like classics.  They're generally so fun to watch though the love stories go from slightly unbelievable to downright ridiculous.  Really?  You fell in love after 30 minutes together?  *Eye roll.*
15) It's nice to be around people who are open to watching docs, fiction films and foreign films.  I have that in my classmates and even better, in Rashan.  I really enjoy being able to watch a huge variety of movies and have multiple people to discuss them with.
16) The most talked about foreign films are usually really worth the effort to get past the subtitles if that's your hang-up: Volver, Amelie, Life is Beautiful, La Vie En Rose, M.
17) Foreign docs are really difficult to get into sometimes.  I think more than any other genre.  The language barrier along with being dropped into a completely different culture can be overwhelming.  This doesn't mean I won't watch them, but it might take me longer to get into them.  That said, I LOVED "To Be and To Have," a French doc about a one-room school house.
18) There are lots of cliches in documentary, things that have been done to death: the Holocaust, the environment, the personal film, the war in Iraq.  And the market is so saturated with these types of films that it becomes a chore to try to watch one even if you've heard great things about it.  Particularly if the last -- ones were torturous or pedantic.
19) Narration is a horribly overused crutch.  There is no reason to put narration in every single part of every single film.  It's particularly excruciating in personal films where you have these people who should not ever be allowed to speak on wax or P2 cards or video tapes or film or cassettes or digital audio recorders because their voices and delivery are JUST.THAT.BAD!!  Ugh.  I had to take a voice & diction class as part of my journalism instruction in undergrad.  Why didn't you?
20) I can sense really bad movies very early on.  Structural flaws rarely wait until the middle or end to flare in the worst of the worst.  With those not as extreme, flaws often appear in the middle and end which brings down the quality of the film but doesn't kill it.  Terrible films get turned off after 5 or 10 minutes (The Good German).
21) I realized I don't really like watching films where I know the outcome sucks because it's based on history I'm aware of... I actually already knew this because when watching 'Titanic' in theaters I actually said, "SINK THE (expletive) BOAT ALREADY!!" But it became more clear over the last year.  Lol.
22) The more movies I watched the easier it became for me to figure out how I would rate them long before the end.  I usually wrote my ratings with more than an hour to go.  Sometimes as little as 30 minutes.  I would tweak if necessary but it often wasn't.
23) Oscars don't mean jack.  I never understood how people could say they didn't need to win awards or get accolades.  WHAT?!!?  I want to be recognized!!!!  And still do!  Lol.  But I can now understand what they mean.  You can love your work and produce some amazing films and not get the attention you deserve.  It doesn't minimize your awesomeness.  I feel you.  There are a lot of Oscar-nominated or winning films I have no affinity toward.  I still want to make one.


It's Real


I am totally completing my film in the next 3.5 months. 
I have to defend my thesis on April 16th. 

APRIL 16TH!!! 


That is so psychotically close...  YIKES. 

On a brighter note, my screening is April 30th on campus, I'd love to have you all come see!  BE THERE!!!

Now I'm going to not freak out and buckle down and get it done.  Rashan, now is the time for you to bow out of this daily blogging competition gracefully.  Thanks.


Home Again

Jiggity jig.  My mom used to say that when we came back from one of our long car trips when we were kids, "Home again, jiggity jig."  I have no clue why.  I'm happy I got here safely and without incident, but I DID NOT want to leave Rashan.  Bah humbug.  Maybe this break was too long?  I'm gonna get my groove back, I promise!  I have some randoms for you even though it's not Monday.  I KNOW!! YOU CAN HARDLY CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT!!

Rachael Ray has had a new set for 30 Minute Meals for at least 2 seasons, maybe 3 or 4 and I'm still not used to it.  It's so... orange.  Her favorite color... YUCK.  Orange is such an obnoxious color.  It's hard for me to watch the show sometimes now b/c of that horrific set.

I came home to a PACKED mailbox.  LOVE IT!!  2 Christmas cards-- including one from Rashan's grandma, a Food Network mag and a Rachael Ray mag (February already), a Vickie's catalog (I seriously can't believe just one), and only a little junk mail.  YEAH!!!

Tomorrow is the day I sit down and write all of my assignments in my planner.  SCARY.  But necessary.  I'm also buying a giant calendar for the wall (like what people put on their desks) and putting it up as my decoration to help me stay on task with what's due when.  I'm going to take it apart and put it across the wall so I can also see in advance what's coming up in addition to my planner that I carry with me.

I have only had sugar and carbs today... that's not cute.  I'm feeling a little cracked up.  I slept poorly last night because I woke up just about once an hour, drove to Gainesville from Atlanta, unpacked my car some, went to the class I'm assisting (I think it'll be fun because we have some characters... Lol.  This one kid stood up during his introduction after about an hour of class and said, 'I'm actually here for Geology 101 but this is really interesting.'  He was kidding.  Lolol.), realized I'm giving a lecture in less than a month...................., thought about all the other stuff I have to do, got two movies and now might be asleep before 9 o'clock.  And I will totally sleep 12 hours.  AND WHAT? 

I have class 2 days a week but I'll be spending the rest of that time MAKING MY FILM!!  And grading those pesky assignments.  This semester instead of having to grade 9 or 10 (1/2 of 20 students if they all turned them in), I will be grading 25 assignments each time....... FUN!!  Saaaaave meeeee!!  Okay I've gotta go.  I'll try to get it together for tomorrow.  I had to post today because RASHAN WILL NOT WIN.


2010 Goals

1) Work on my relationship with God.  Here's how you guys can help.  What are some things other than going to church that have helped you, including books?  I'm not saying I won't go to church but it has definitely been difficult for me to find a church in Gainesville.  But let's be honest, I haven't been looking in nearly a year.  I'm not SO concerned with church so much as I am with getting closer to God.

2) Finish my film.  I will actually have achieved this by the end of April AND earned a master's degree for it to boot!!  THAT IS AWESOME!  I'm really excited about that!  But it means I'll have to give procrastination the finger... something I haven't been doing.

3) Take the next step in my career.  More on this later.

4) Try new restaurants.  This is seriously one of the things I love about life AND about traveling between three cities (Gainesville, Atlanta, Charlotte)-- getting to try new restaurants.  I'm going to shoot for once a month because I also need to give some old restaurants some play!  I enjoyed some restaurants but have been so focused on new, I haven't been back.

5) Cook at least 3xs a week, 2 of those new recipes.  Sometimes the recipes might be for a drink, but that's okay!  Imagine trying 104 new recipes in a year!  How exciting!  One year I may go similar to the 'Julie and Julia' route and cook my way through a cookbook but with all the cookbooks I have, along with subscriptions to 2 food magazines, it's probably better not to so I can actually USE what I have.  Lol.  I'm REALLY excited about the Rick Bayless Mexican cookbook Rashan got me for Christmas!  Yippee!!  I will be posting the new recipes on 'The Record Dish' this year instead of here (2 new ones are going up today!).

6) Watch more movies.  I. KNOW.  Lol.  Who could possibly want to!?!?  MEEEEE!  I actually enjoy it most of the time.  I DO have to get myself out of 'you have to finish this movie because you started it' mode.  I started that to keep myself from wasting valuable film-watching time and it's hard to get out of that habit.  Since I only want to watch 365 movies this year, I can watch longer movies and ones people talk about a lot.  Can't wait!  :)  Essentially by the time I graduate I will have seen more than 1,000 movies in a 2-year period.  AWESOME!!

7) Workout more. I did a great job getting back my workout mojo at the end of last year!  SO EXCITING!  I just want to keep that going.  I'll try some new classes and switch up my working out so I don't get bored.  Yay!!!  I usually put the 5k on here but running produces sharp pains in my ankle right now so until I can get that figured out, I'm sticking with regular working out.

8) I love Aretha's idea of statecations.  Travel within the state is such a neat idea.  We get so focused on getting away to far-off locales we miss some great things in our own states and even cities!  So before I leave Florida I want to go to the Keys, Tampa and St. Augustine.  PHEW!!  That's a LOT in 6 months while trying to finish a film.  But luckily the last two are less than 2 hours away so those can be day trips!

9) Call my grandma once a week.  I know she needs it.  Attention, that is.  That's part of her problem.  And maybe by talking to her once a week she can stop being so MEAN.  That's the reason she's so lonely right now.  She's pushed people away continually in her effort to control.  So I might also be able to produce a positive change in someone else's life.

*And this year to keep myself on track better than last year, I will update on these goals monthly.  I could probably get a new feature going with my conversations with grandma.  That will be pretty cool.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 30

1) Let's take a moment to thank God for chickens & especially for eggs.  THANK YOU GOD!!!  I watched a chicken doc and it said Americans eat 250 eggs a year.  You know that makes me want to count how many eggs I eat next year, right?  I've gotten used to keeping track of movies that I can't imagine keeping track of nothing next year.  (365 movies is too easy by comparison to be considered a goal.)  I have decided not to do that.  Too stupid & pointless to be considered.
2) I either have over-active smelling glands or the ability of a savant.  I am constantly smelling things no one else smells.  On Christmas Eve this affliction made me feel more than a little ill.  YUCK.
3) Some of y'all need to get a life.  I like twitter, too but 60 posts/hour is beyond excessive.
4) However, can you stop ALL going to bed at 11pm?  Twitter's too quiet!  Me no likey!
5) I hope I have children who like to read.  I will be sorely disappointed if I can't share that with my school chiddlers.  I might beat 'em until they read.  You know, positive reinforcement.  Reading = no beating.  YOU'RE WELCOME.
6) Please go back in time and tell Julia Child to stop calling people named Jacques "Jack."  Mess!  Lol
7) I am SO glad my sister and I don't wear any of the same sizes anymore.  Esp. since I got these HAWT $10 shoes at the Nine West Outlet near my mom's house.  WHO KNEW THIS EXISTED!!?!?!  Do you even know how poor I would've been when I was working if I'd known this place was around the corner selling $10(.81 with tax) leather Nine Wests???? 
8) My mother hates when I say she's 'making' something instead of cooking something.  For instance, "What are you making for dinner?" or "My mom's making dressing!"  She'll always correct me and say, "Cooking! I'm not making anything. I'm cooking."  Touchy, touchy!  Know what I do now?  I say, "Ooh! Mommy's making potato salad! (exaggerated gasp, wide eyes) Excuse me, COOKING potato salad."  Well... cooking the potatoes for the potato salad.  Then she narrows her eyes at me.  HAHAHAHAHA!!  It's hilarious.
9) The entire time I was home I could not stop thinking about food.  It was really ridiculous.  Like worse than usual.  I would eat and sometimes DURING A MEAL, be thinking about what I could eat next.  Food food FOOD!  LOL.  Hungry hungry girl. 
10) It's probably bad that I gave Rashan a camera for Christmas and loved it, used it more than he did AND kept it with me in Charlotte when he went back to Atlanta, huh?
11) I love french manicures/pedis on other people & am completely unimpressed with them on me.
12) It's almost like it's impossible for me to get my Netflix queue down because I get 2 movies, then add 2 more, get another one, add 3 more.  There's just so much I want to see!  All Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn, a lot of Judy Garland and Katharine Hepburn.  Random docs, movies I've heard about a lot, indies and on and on.  Right now my mail home queue is at about 100, my instant queue is hovering around 65.  The only reason it's not near 80 is because Netflix took about 10 offline.
13) I love the first day of the year.  New beginnings are great!  But I'm weird about January.  I don't know what it is about that month that I don't love.


Crazy Movie Lady 49

December 27-31, 2009
The final week!  I did it! :)
732. Once.  Musical Irish indie film about a street guitar player who meets a pianist and decides to record with her.  The music was pretty good.  The story was... um... barely auxiliary.  I wasn't terribly interesting for me but I didn't hate watching it.  3 stars
733. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.  British film based on a popular teenage book series (which CRACKED ME UP!!) about a girl named Georgia Nicholson who is crazy funny with her group of friends and crush on a new cutie at her school.  Amusing and a fun watch.  3.8 stars
734. Mystic Pizza.  1988 Julia Roberts & Vincent D'Onofrio film about pizza parlor workers with dreams of bigger things  The plot was telegraphed from a mile away and had a Lifetime feel.  Not fun.  And not even a semblance of being my kind of movie. 2.9 stars
735. Lord of the Flies.  Classic 1963 film based on a book about a bunch of prep school kids stranded on a deserted island.  The longer they're there the more things unravel.  It started to become incredibly irritating in the last 30 minutes or so.  And disturbing.  3.3 stars
736. The Princess and the Frog.  Super cute Disney movie starring the company's first black princess!  I was so excited to see it & can't wait to learn all the songs!  Yay!  I was also really glad it was set in New Orleans!  4 stars
737. Moonstruck. Cher & Nicolas Cage star as moonstruck people among many Sicilians who all know each other in some way or another.  Kind of cute with enough action to hold my attention.  3.5 stars
738. For All Mankind. 1989 documentary about space missions.  Kind of a boring start with the JFK speech.  Yes I know it's historic but it went on a little rambly.  Beyond that, pretty dramatic and really cool to see the astronauts preparing for the first space missions.  Wonderfully edited with some crazy great footage!!!!  This would be so awesome in Imax!  This film made me wonder why there's no gravity in space but gravity on the moon.  Like why don't you float off of the moon?  But I also loved that the filmmakers didn't explain any of that kind of stuff and just let the astronauts, Earth, space, the moon & "Houston" be as caught on film.  The part on the moon dragged on a bit too long.  Overall though worth watching.  4.3 stars
739. Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey, Jr., Rachel McAdams, Jude Law star in a Guy Ritchie film about the famous detective and his sidekick as they solve a perplexing crime.  Interesting and a nicely-paced watch (though my sister thought it was slow).  The love story started off as mildly interesting but devolved and was definitely the weakest point of the film. 3.8 stars
740. Taken. Liam Neeson stars as the "skilled" father of a teenage daughter kidnapped in Paris.  He has less than a week to find her before she disappears for good.  AWESOME thriller.  Loved it.  5 stars
741. At Close Range with National Geographic. Documentary about a National Geographic photographer.  I ordinarily feel like people can and should narrate their own stories... this isn't always possible.  Because sometimes like in this case in the opening moments, it felt overly scripted and false.  Some awesome pictures, though.  Bad and unnecessary sound effects.  They sound silly and cheapen the effect of some pretty good stories.  I can't say I wanted any extensive background on the photographer.  I just wanted to know about his pictures and the process of the pictures.  Those parts were the strongest.  I definitely wanted to re-read a NatGeo mag with the insight provided by this film. 3.3 stars
742. Max Dugan Returns.  Comedy starring Jason Robards, Donald Sutherland and Matthew Broderick.  Costumes by Bob Mackie!  Can't wait.  They weren't anything to talk about though.  Quick dialogue in this story about a single mother reunited with her long lost father.  Hmmm... I'm not sure about that ending, though.  A bit underwhelming.  3.3 stars
743. Picture Perfect. Jennifer Anniston, Jay Mohr Olympia Dukakis & Kevin Bacon film about a woman passed up for a promotion because she's single and therefore 'unstable.'  Some really bad 90's outfits.  Mildly interesting but something just didn't happen with this film.  And it was a bit longer than it should've been.  3 stars
744. Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi. Israeli coming of age film (spoken in Hebrew) about a teenage boy taking care of his crazy family.  I enjoyed it.  3.8 stars
745. Dog Day Afternoon. Film directed by Sidney Lumet starring Al Pacino about two guys who rob a bank to pay for a gay lover's sex change operation but don't do very well with the getaway.  This is a day in the life essentially.  Very entertaining.  4.3 stars
746. Child's Play.  Horror movie about a doll possessed by the soul of a serial killer that goes on a killing spree.  There was some really bad acting but the psycho doll was pretty hilarious.  Funnily bad but a classic probably for precisely that reason and the fact that my generation saw it as children and were promptly afraid of all their toys.  Not me!  3 stars
745. A Family Undertaking. Documentary about Americans who prepare and/or bury their own dead.  Kind of creepy to see the dead people laid up in their cardboard coffins.  Rashan refused to watch this one.  Too creepy for him.  I found it interesting.  There was one particularly grotesque description of the embalming process but for the most part, the film was pretty benign.  I don't know why for these sorts of films, there is the ubiquitous convention.  It's a cliché and pretty boring.  I wonder if there was a conscious decision to shoot up in the convention stage video.  There were some really moving moments like the mother who now runs a home funeral business and the couple they followed.  I can see why this aired on PBS' strand, POV because there is a definite point of view in this film though gentle on the side of home burials.  The funeral home side was skirted in a way that it almost made its inclusion a waste of time.  Give it real time or leave it out altogether.  Still I know I would have asked for its inclusion had it been left out.  What I liked most about this film is that it made me think.  Nicely edited film for the most part.  The ending felt abrupt.  3.8 stars
746. The Three Faces of Eve. Classic 50s film based on a book about multiple personality disorder (now known as dissociative identity disorder (you can see who took abnormal psych in undergrad lol)).  The "this is a true story" explanation for 3 minutes at the beginning was overly long.  Just start the movie!!  Once the movie got going, it was fantastic!  I'd read the book but it was cool seeing it on screen.  The end was a little lame.  3.8 stars
747. Bad Day at Black Rock.  Spencer Tracy stars in a 1954 Western about a man mistaken for a law man in a deserted town and finds himself in a lot of trouble.  Great score.  Intriguing story line.  Bad day is an understatement!  Lol  3.9 stars
748. The Way We Get By.  Documentary (I read about in the NYT) about a group of elderly people (including the filmmaker's mother) in Bangor, Maine who welcome soldiers back from war.  Pretty good start, nicely edited, but early on it could've stood to include other people than the original man.  Some really great and moving stories.  This film would've been more effective if it was shorter.  It was at least 30 minutes too long.  3.2 stars
749. In a Lonely Place.  Humphrey Bogart movie about a screenwriter in need of another hit who police are now beginning to suspect of murder.  Bogey like I've never seen him before.  Wow!  4.2 stars
750. Ella Fitzgerald: Something to Live For.  Awesome documentary about the legendary jazz singer with tons of footage of her singing, which made up the bulk of the film.  Her life story was a supplement to her music, which actually, intentional or not in terms of the film, is very true.  She gave her music her all at the expense of personal relationships and even her health.  Some fantastic editing-- particularly in a road travel sequence.  Riveting.  A fitting end to a year of movie-watching.  4.4 stars

**Don't worry, I'll continue watching and reviewing movies and posting every Sunday!


Christmas Menu

Alright, I will now put you all out of your misery!  For Christmas breakfast for the family, hosted at my mom's house, we fed about 15 people.  We had salmon croquettes and grits (Mommy's responsibility), vegetarian sausage, bacon (AWESOME Walmart Great Value brand thick cut), turkey sausage, biscuits... and for Jameil's contribution, asparagus bacon quiche, tomato basil quiche and spinach and mushroom quiche (top left).  All awesome.  I LOVED the asparagus bacon.  The bacon flavor permeated the quiche making it a beacon of awesomeness.  My mom loved the tomato basil as did my cousin Erica.  Rashan's favorite was spinach and mushroom.  Sorry there aren't more pics but everybody was hungry and I didn't have camera batteries until Rashan got there!

I also made white sangria, red sangria & a non-alcoholic sangria (for the kids originally but the adults all loved it, too basically cranberry juice, apple juice, fruit and sugar muddled together).  The red sangria was not great because it didn't have enough sugar (what happens when you don't use a recipe "per se" and just wing it.  Lol.  Didn't matter, they still drank most of it.

Here are my recipes all from AllRecipes.com

Spinach Mushroom Feta Quiche 
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (6 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, feta and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into pie crust.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.
Result: Yummy.  Like I said, Rashan's favorite.  I used less butter than this called for.  Also, instead of using garlic and herb feta I used plain feta and sprinkled in italian seasoning.  I also used fresh mushrooms and spinach because I'm bratty like that.  Lol.  The filling was AWESOME.  I had to stop myself from eating it all while I was cooking.  I also didn't use a deep dish and therefore brought down the amount of time in the oven.  Just keep an eye on it.  It got a little browner than I wanted but was still a hit.
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10 inch) unbaked pastry shell
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups light cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. Cut eight asparagus spears 4-in. long for garnish. Cut remaining asparagus into 1/2-in. pieces, using only tender parts of stalks. Boil 1 qt. of water in a large saucepan; add salt and all of the asparagus. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse asparagus. 
  2. Brush bottom of pastry shell with egg white.
  3. In a bowl combine asparagus, Swiss cheese and bacon; mix gently. Place in bottom of pastry shell. In another bowl, beat eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper until smooth. Pour into shell. 
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Arrange the asparagus spears, spoke fashion, on top of quiche; place cherry tomato halves between spokes. 
Result: Again, my fave.  I sauteed the asparagus in butter and olive oil instead of boiling it. (Lolol. Unnecessarily fat, I know! But not my fault!  My mom ran out of EVOO!  The shame!)  I skipped the egg white step, too and just cooked the crust in the oven for 5 minutes before adding anything to it.  Apparently this takes away the soggy crust quiches sometimes have.  I also did not do those garnishes.  The asparagus because I didn't want to give up the asparagus I cooked with and the tomato because I was following the chef credo of not garnishing with an ingredient not in the dish.  THANKS FOOD NETWORK & TOP CHEF!!  I also added onion sauteed in butter to this one which was delicious. (Lol... more fat)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake pie shell in preheated oven for 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until soft; remove from skillet. Sprinkle tomato slices with flour and basil, then saute 1 minute on each side. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread 1 cup shredded cheese in the bottom of pie crust. Layer onions over cheese, and top with tomatoes. Cover with egg mixture. sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until filling is puffed and golden brown. Serve warm. 
Results: Mom's fave.  Didn't use a deep dish crust again.  I also used 3 roma tomatoes instead of 2 regular tomatoes.  Be quick when sauteeing the tomatoes because they soften quickly.  One minute per side is max because it will continue to cook a little in the oven.  I loved the layered look of this one.  I only baked the crust for 5 or 6 minutes.