You're It!

I used to hate tags about 4 years ago when I had blog relationships with at least two dozen people and got the same tags over and over again. But with my shrunken blog family (some people only see fit to blog monthly... *couSHABOOGIEgh*), I guess I'm ready to play again. I'm supposed to tell 11 random things about myself (I think because I don't share enough randomness LOL), answer 11 questions and ask 11 more. Answer those 11 on your blog or in the comments. These are from Nerd Girl. Now let's party!

1) I love ear muffs. Still. They're cute, they never mess up my hair & they keep my ears warm.
2) Stretching has become one of my favorite activities now that I'm a running machine. It feels grrrreat!
3) I love dancing. Line dancing, salsa, cha cha, Just Dance, aerobics class, Zumba. In my house, at the grocery store, at the club, at your wedding, my momma's house, your momma's house. Doesn't matter. Just gimme a beat. Oh and I'm good at it.
4) I told Rashan if I won tickets to the Super Bowl and the Falcons are there, I would leave him at home. I can't have him seeing his team there in person and I might never see mine (the Panthers). He claims this might be grounds for a divorce. *shrugs*
5) I leave Christmas lights up inside my house because I just can't let it go. I plug them in when I need a boost.
6) I'm going dairy-free, meat & egg-free & processed food-free for 28 days starting this past Monday. This week is just dairy and processed food-free. Everyone say a prayer for my continued sanity. Yes, this is self-inflicted. Details forthcoming.
7) I have four kinds of salt (table, sea, black lava, fleur de sel) and six kinds of pepper (black (whole & ground), pink, crushed red, white, chili, cayenne). I will be using the fleur de sel and pink peppercorns in the next month. CAN'T WAIT!!
8) I have never disliked a news anchor/reporter so much that I couldn't watch him/her deliver the news. Even the ones I knew in my old life as a journalist. Until now. There is a guy here I HATE!! He says the dumbest things. Whether he wrote them or not, he says them. It's almost worse if he didn't write them. No. Wait. It IS worse. I refuse to watch him.
9) I love getting pedicures but hate getting manicures. The nail techs ALWAYS mess up my nail shape no matter what I tell them.
10) I went on a free sample spree a few months ago and for a while I was getting something almost every day. I'm in a dry spell now and looking longingly at my mailbox.
11) I have stacks of books all over the living room that prompt others to offer me bookshelves. But I secretly like the way they look all stacked around. It makes me feel like my life is full of reading. Oh! It is again. :)

1.  Is there anything you’ll eat one way, but not another? 
Very similar to NG, I'm extremely tomato picky. I don't eat fresh tomatoes out of season. Summer only. I love most tomato products (sauce, KETCHUP!!, salsa) but HATE tomato soup & juice. Canned, fire-roasted, diced tomatoes are well-loved in my kitchen! Love raw carrots, hate them cooked.
2.  Where’s your favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere warm with a beautiful (preferably relatively uncrowded) beach.
3.  What 5 things would you grab if your home were about to be destroyed?
Phone/charger, degrees, fave pumps, a Le Creuset, my hat collection. Yes I know these all sound ridiculous.
4.  What are you listening to right now?
The dishwasher. I like quietude when I'm reading/writing blogs.
5.  What’s the most you’d spend on a purse?
At this point 0. Within the next year, probably $200.
6.  Do you think we’d get along in real life? Yes! You're the best!
7.  Do you have a monthly clothing budget? Nope. Not right now.
8.  What do you do when you’re bored?
Tweet, play Words with Friends, tweet, watch tv/movies, bother Rashan, read.
9.  What surprises you most about being an adult?  
That I'm married and it's quickly become pretty normal. And definitely that I feel like the same person that I did as a not quite adult and that I don't necessarily always like an adult.
10.  Do you love your hairstyle? Sometimes. I'm impressed by the length!
11.  Who’s your favorite Golden Girl?
I guess Sophia if I have to pick one. Surly amuses me on tv... and often in life.

Now here's a mix of her questions, Inner Diva's questions and mine. You may notice a slight food bias...
1)  Is there anything you’ll eat one way, but not another? 
2) What food do you absolutely refuse to eat and is there anything that can change your mind? Like if your favorite chef EVER prepared it, would you eat it?
3) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
4) Where’s your favorite vacation spot?
5) How did you decide to live where you live right now?
6) What's the riskiest thing you've ever done?
7) If money was no object and all your bills were paid indefinitely, how would you spend the next year?
8) Do you like your family?
9) What's your favorite drink?
10) What's one thing you can eat and eat and never get tired of?
11) Is there a smell that instantly reminds you of something or someone else?


Encounters of the Masculine Kind

In the last two weeks, I must have been wearing eau de 'how you doin' as I conquered the city. All kinds of riff raff saw fit to approach me. I think these things happen mostly to give me something to blog about.

A. Man Reeking of Alcohol at 3 in the Afternoon: (Looks me up and down) Unh! How you doin?
 Me: Fine. (To clerk) Pump 2, please.
 MRoAa3itA: I'll get it if you let me take you to dinner tonight.
 Me: Nah. My husband won't like that.
 MRoAa3itA: Aw man. All the good ones are taken.
 Me: Yeah I guess so.
 MRoAa3itA: Nah! I don't believe that!
 Me: (Silence.)

B. Me: (Minding my own business sitting in my car waiting at the light with the window down enjoying the nice weather.)
 Me: (Horrid face.)

C. Toothless Elderly Man: (Looking pleased in my direction) Hey sweetheart!
Me: (Warily) Hi.
TEM: I think I love you.
Me: (Panicking letting my words come before I think them) No thank you.
TEM: No thank you?
Me: (As we pass each other) You can't love me! You don't even know me!
TEM: Says yo mouth!
Me: (Raucous laughter)

Why does a man 30 years older than all of you have the best approach? I know part of it is more practice but just FYI, laying on your horn and yelling out of your window and looking someone up and down making guttural noises aren't attractive means of communication. I thought we knew this already. You know what I'm gonna say, right? Do better.


#29: Watch AFI's Top 100 Films

The American Film Institute has this list... 100 best films. As a filmmaker, I felt like this list included a bunch of stuff I should have seen (probably a long time ago). I also included this goal on my 30 Before 30 list because Rashan had seen everything on the list. It was not a goal I looked forward to completing. Part of that is my problem stems with my impatience with long films. If it's a comedy, it needs to be 90 minutes or less. If it's a drama, it needs to have a wonderfully fleshed-out plot for me to tolerate more than 2 hours.

I found some films I really, really liked and others I just found passable. I was surprised to learn how much I can appreciate a good western! I hated them growing up because it was all my dad would ever watch. That and Star Trek. Wait. And This Old House. And tennis. Okay that's enough. Then of course there were the ones I didn't like at all. Some of them will make you gasp. Dun dun dun... I warn you, I won't sound remotely like a filmmaker. Anything intelligent I had to say about these has already happened and may happen again but not today!

1) The Godfather. I avoided this one for YEARS. Turns out I really, really liked it!
2) Gone with the Wind. As a Southerner, this one was on my radar my entire life. I'd seen pieces but never the whole thing. You know the length is what got me. I liked it so much I watched it in one sitting!
3) It's a Wonderful Life. I don't know why my mom hates this movie. I'd seen bits and pieces growing up but never saw the whole thing until this past Christmas! I really enjoyed it!
4) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I don't really like Jimmy Stewart. I think he's corny. But these two movies tried to make me a convert!
5) To Kill A Mockingbird.  So cute and sweet. I liked the book, I liked the movie.

6) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I liked this film so much I need to watch it again.
7) Everything Hitchcock. I love that man.
8) Bonnie and Clyde. PAUL NEWMAN!!!! Faye was pretty awesome, too.
9) The Silence of the Lambs, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, The Shawshank Redemption. All 5 stars.
10) Bringing Up Baby. My favorite dead guy Cary Grant & Katharine Hepburn? Yes, please!

1) Casablanca. I KNOW!! I'm lucky Rashan married me for this one. I didn't get the hype at all. And I really hated that he said 'Here's lookin at you, kid' 7,000 times. Blech.
2) Citizen Kane. Eye roll again. I know as a recovering journalist I'm supposed to love this but I didn't. Not even a little bit. I wasn't into the story from the outset.
3) Goodfellas, Easy Rider, The Wild Bunch, Sullivan's Travels, Nashville, Intolerance.
4) A Clockwork Orange. One star. I hated this one most of all. Hated it.

Overall, I gave 67% of the films 4 or 5 out of 5 stars. Just 12 got one or two stars (meaning I would not want to watch them again). I think that's a great ratio considering the skepticism with which I approached this list! Goal complete!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 130

1) I've decided I'm going to start finding fun free stuff for Rashan and I to do every week. We might not get to it all but at least we'll get to some. We chill at home a lot but I'm ready to go conquer the world together!

2) I'm going to stop trying to make fetch happen. I tried two different plans on my Bible app and neither one worked for me. I'm still trying to decide whether I'll use the Bible on my phone. I kind of like that. Even though it looks like I'm texting in church. LOL

3) I was in an AWFUL sleeping pattern for months. I would fall asleep around 11, wake up at 2 and not sleep again until between 8 and 10 in the morning at the worst and 5 and 6 a.m. at the best. I'd wake up at 3 p.m. and still not feel rested. I often woke up several times during the night and couldn't go back to sleep. Then I worked out five days last week and my body demanded rest. Even when I woke up I could GO BACK TO SLEEP!! This has been true for the last 4 days and I feel AMAZING! Now I just need to not wake up at 8 a.m. and life will be much better.

4) It must have been some GOOOOD sleep because I woke up with sore right ribs Friday morning and they haven't stopped aching yet. Do better, ribs.

5) I wish I still liked ribs. The food. Pork is almost dead to me. We're down to bacon and sausage. And when chicken sausage is cheaper, I buy that. But I don't believe in non-pork bacon. It is an abomination before God and man and should be banned from the earth. It was written...

6) I was supposed to make oatmeal butternut scotch cookies this weekend. Then our neighbor brought us delicious banana nut muffins. Desire gone! Oops... Maybe today.

7) I have turned a corner in this job application process after getting another rejection and realizing several things.
   A. I am amazingly blessed to be able to stay at home while I find a wonderful job for me. It took me too long to realize this but I'm holding on to it while I have it.
   B. I am in a season of preparation. I must use my time wisely. I know I'm meant to learn and grow from this experience. Look at me getting all zen on you.

8) I really try to keep in touch with my grandma more but she's so depressing and/or negative some days that it can really be hard to talk to her.

9) Speaking of negativity, my twitter and facebook timelines are doing the most. Facebook is about 10 minutes from going the way of MySpace. I'm not willing to give it up completely yet but I interact on there less and less. I'm basically down to food and running. I stopped regularly posting pics unrelated to those two things months ago.

10) I'm about to completely dump my running group. Ironically, because it's not meshing with my running goals. That's so beyond not the point, right?? Crazy.


Movies 2012: Week 1

I'm well on my way to watching more documentaries this year than last year! I didn't actually go back and count but if I can maintain a 50/50 ratio, even at times above that on the documentary side. This was a great start to the year!

January 1-7, 2012
1) Winnebago Man. Documentary about this man who loses his entire mind on a commercial shoot for Winnebago. It's just as much about the filmmaker who's obsessed with the video. I was instantly exasperated by the Winnebago Man's prolific, over-the-top profanity and the filmmaker's insertion of himself into the story. With the filmmaker's participation in this film, it really should have been called Winnebago Man and Boy or something. For the amount of build-up to finding Winnebago Man, there had to be the ultimate pay-off. I think there was. I also think there are interesting ethical conundrums inherent in this film. (The idea of viral video victims setting the record straight; knowing when you're getting the real person while making a film; establishing your importance or worth in a film as the filmmaker? How could you tell this story without including yourself?) From the way it began, I was actually quite surprised to enjoy this film. But I did! 3.9 stars
2) Micki & Maude. A man finds out his ambitious wife (Ann Reinking from Annie!) and his secret mistress are both pregnant. It's shocking how long this charade went on. SHOCKING! I shook my head throughout but somehow still enjoyed it. 3.7 stars
3) The Opposite of Sex. Christina Ricci stars as a homewrecking trollop who moves in with her brother and seduces his boyfriend. So crazy. Lisa Kudrow has the most awesome and jerky personality! She's the best character! Amusing film and certainly not without twists. Really ridiculous ineffective music. 3.6 stars
4) Letters to Juliet. Amanda Seyfried plays an American girl who finds and answers a decades old letter to Juliet (improbable, I know but if you saw how it happened, you'd be even more skeptical). When her response leads to meeting the original letter's author, she joins the woman and her grandson on the search for a long lost love. It started off rather interesting and had interesting moments throughout but silly, unnecessary things kept happening to remove some of that interest. 3.2 stars
5) Gimme Shelter. The Maysles direct this Rolling Stones concert film that accidentally captures footage of a murder in progress. Pretty amazing documentary. It captures the freewheeling, frenzied and chaotic atmosphere of the concert before and during the murder. I feel like I could watch this dozens of times and still see something new every time. It certainly doesn't hurt that the music was great, too. 4 stars
6) The Other Woman. Wow. Natalie Portman stars as a woman who wins the affection of the one she loves only to find out that affection comes with a lot of baggage. The movie is so much deeper than that description but the ambiguity in the explanation is what makes the unveiling more powerful. I had never expected to feel a sympathy or affection for 'the other woman' but I most definitely did. Really beautiful film. 5 stars
7) Picture Me. A filmmaker follows his girlfriend on her rise to model superstardom. While it was interesting to hear some things from models, if you've been keeping up with stories in fashion, for the most part, it didn't break any new ground. The insecurity was disconcertingly bizarre. It was also pretty creepy how old these girls looked. A 16-year-old could easily pass for a 25-year-old. Even 30.
8) Love and Other Drugs. Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway star as a drug rep and his early-onset Parkinsons-suffering sleep around buddy who go through all sorts of ups and downs together as they try to figure out life. Mostly amusing but harmless. Remember Vonda Shepard of Ally McBeal fame? Someone reprised her constant moans over music and under dialogue throughout this film to annoying heights. 3 stars


2012 Goals

You guys know I LOVE goals! I live a much more ordered life when I'm setting and achieving goals! This year I turn 30!!! Wow! I remember when 30 seemed old. LOL It's so funny how your perspective changes. I've put my goals into categories to make them a little more manageable.

  1. Try some old recipes again. I cook several times a week. Almost always new recipes. Sometimes even when I'm making a sandwich. I need some standbys. I'm going to try to find some this year.
  2. Re-vamp my food blog. The Record Dish is so far from where it started for me that it might be time to move. Get a fresh start.
  1. Run 750 miles, a 10k and a half marathon. That's about 14.5 miles every week. At the beginning I won't be there (this week will have about 9) but at the end I'll be beyond that... sometimes in a single run. WOW! I'm so excited about where I'll be this time next year!
  2. Work out 3-5 times every week. Already on number 4 this week today!
Life & Career
  1. Read 45 books. Since I'll be working a lot more this year than last year (claiming it), I'm only upping this goal to 45. I read 50 last year. I'll be cramming as many books as possible into the first half of the year. Now reading 3 books.
  2. Make a real effort to find a church. I didn't attend a single one locally in 2011. Wow. I know my spiritual growth is stagnating without a church.
  3. Use my time more wisely. That means creating a plan for my days and executing it. I have to have a plan and deadlines to get films created, books read and syllabi written.
  4. Buy a camera and a new desktop computer. If I'm going to make more documentaries, I need the equipment to move it on forward!
  5. Complete my professional website. Domain name purchased, waiting on the design.
  6. Change my name. I've made a decision and I'm ready.
  7. Volunteer. I've always wanted to be a baby cuddler at a hospital.
  8. Complete at least 10 more 30 before 30 goals. I've done 11 so that will bring me to at least 22. I've had to revise my list to more accurately reflect my current lifestyle. Most of those goals aren't gone forever, though! Look for them on either 35 before 35 or 40 before 40. (LOL)
Career & Money
  1. Budget our spending to make room for more things we like to do. And of course, we need to build our savings.
  2. Save $1,500 on our grocery bill this year. We were at about $900 w/o even really trying the first 7 months of the year! Part of this savings will require me not wasting money on food that doesn't get eaten. I really hate that.
  3. Get a magnificent job. I'm not sure if this will be filmmaking, teaching, a combination or something I haven't even imagined but I'm getting myself mentally ready for the next step.
  4. Watch more documentaries. I didn't have nearly enough in my film diet. So far this year, almost half of the films I've watched were docs. I think that's a good ratio. And of course I wouldn't mind even more of a tilt toward the doc side.
  5. Make more documentaries. I need to crank out some new things.
  6. Attend at least 2 film festivals. I LOVE film festivals and I've only been to one! This is part of my version of attending professional conferences and I'm ready to get back out there!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 129

1) I don't like Project Accessory. Molly Sims has no more credibility than any other person who wears accessories and I never understand what the judges are talking about when they like something. I almost never like what they like. But I can't stop watching it now that I've started. UGH!! I like some of the things they do and seeing the creation process but in general, the show annoys me. I'll finish out the season and be shocked if it lasts.
2) Speaking of shows, we've stopped watching Grimm and Person of Interest. It was the same thing every week with no overall story line progression.
3) December 26th is usually my least favorite day of the year after August 24th (day after my birthday). Christmas was so low-key this year, I was okay.
4) Did you know you can freeze store-bought egg nog? I'M ON IT!!!
5) My mom got her Christmas fish fry after all at my cousin's house for brunch. That fish was amazing! So delicious! I will allow Christmas brunch fish fries henceforth. But someone else has to cook it.
6) You know how I don't like mail addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Rashan last name? But I do like being called Mrs. Last Name. Mostly because it cracks me up! Who me???? LOL
7) I played 'spangles' clearing my tiles on triple word and double word for 161 points the other day!! It still makes me smile!!!
8) It's hilarious to me that the same people who will talk trash about Steve Harvey and Hill Harper dole out daily relationship advice. And I've yet to hear tale of their own successful relationships. Maaaaan look. By hilarious I mean annoying. Stop talking.
9) I had a colossal failure in the kitchen yesterday. Like no salvaging it, straight to the trash failure. WOW. First time in a long, LONG time that's happened. Years.
10) I ran 4 miles for the first time Sunday and it was amazing!! Not in the sense that it felt great because parts of it were torturous but amazing in that I knew I could do it and I did!
11) Remember I mentioned creating a food writing course? I'm reading "Will Write for Food" and it's AWESOME in the first 20 pages!
12) You know what January means, don't you? New goals!!!! I can't wait to share them with you! :)


Movies 2011, Weeks 51 & 52

2011 was an interesting year of films with I realized NOT ENOUGH DOCUMENTARIES!! Changes ahead in 2012.

December 18-24, 2011
222) The Good Witch's Gift. A criminal comes back in town as a good witch and the town's police chief prepare for their Christmas wedding. I guess it's cute enough and sappy but it didn't feel very Christmas-like. Not my favorite. 2.9 stars
223) Christmas Magic. A woman must help a man and his young daughter to get into heaven. I would've liked this film a lot more without the poor lip-synching on a terrible song played ad nauseum at the end. Ugh. Maybe not a lot more. It was too stripped of the things that make movies interesting; it was too predictable. 2.9 stars
224) Christmas Wishes. An orphan and a spoiled brat magically change places at Christmas time to the rich girl's chagrin. The plot was decent, the dialogue was bad, the acting was ABYSMAL!! You could feel everyone acting like a caricature of their character sketch. Bad. But the end? Outrageously bad. So, so bad. 1.5 stars
225) Comfort and Joy. A single woman (Nancy McKeon aka Jo from Facts of Life) is knocked unconscious and wakes up with a family she doesn't remember. Dixie Carter is pretty awesome as her mom. The biggest problem with these time loss movies is how much you have to suspend your disbelief. This was a bit better than others I've seen but it was still rather ridiculous. 3.2 stars
226) Broadcast News. The story of a network news producer, reporter and green, pretty boy anchor. It was pretty amazing how this story still rings so familiar 25 years after it was first told. You could still have the pretty face who knows next to nothing about making the news getting promoted for superficial reasons, massive cuts, a great worker getting hosed, newsroom romances ebbing and flowing. Wow. 4.3 stars
227) Mr. Lucky. Cary Grant stars as a casino operator and con man who convinces an heiress to host her ball for the war effort with his games. The set-up of the story was ridiculous. Just get to it and show me Cary, please and thanks. But I still enjoyed it. Even gangster Cary is still lovable and charming. :) 3.5 stars
228) Will You Merry Me? A Christian and his Jewish fiancée bring their families together to meet for the holidays. Some craziness ensues, of course, but not too over the top. The acting was pretty good. I enjoyed the film for what it was-- light-hearted Christmas hijinks. 3.5 stars
229) Three Wise Women. A woman's past and future selves have to help her  fix her life now to make it better in the future... but she doesn't know who they are. Amusing, strong start. Didn't really hold my attention, though. 3.2 stars
230) A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride. A woman comes back from a trip suddenly engaged to a stranger and her wedding-planning daughter decides to break up the wedding. Meh. 2.9 stars
231) Prelude to a Kiss. Meg Ryan and Alec Baldwin star as a young couple whose life is changed by a kiss to the bride from an old man on her wedding day. I usually love magic, rom coms and Meg Ryan. But... this one didn't really do it for me. I'd probably have liked it better if I saw it 10 years ago. 3.2 stars
232) It's A Wonderful Life. An angel's sent to earth to help out a man ruined by a miser at Christmas. Aw! I don't know why I avoided this movie for so long. Maybe my mom doesn't like it?? (Turns out that was why.) I usually find him corny, but I thought Jimmy Stewart was very endearing. Feel-good movie for certain. 4.5 stars

December 25- 31, 2011
233) Apocalypse Now. LAST MOVIE ON THE AFI TOP 100 LIST!!! PUMPED!! Martin Sheen plays a Vietnam-era Green Beret sent on a secret mission to murder a rogue colonel (Marlon Brando). Pretty amazing film from Francis Ford Coppola. 4 stars
234) Fame. The original version of the story of the ups and downs of life for students at a performing arts high school. Quite entertaining. From my brief stint at a performing arts school, they sure minimized the competitiveness among the students. Still, an interesting film. 3.8 stars
235) The Dilemma. Vince Vaughn plays a man who has to figure out whether to tell his best friend his wife is cheating on him. Too long. There were a bunch of unnecessary moments. And to be a dark comedy, there weren't enough funny moments. 3.1 stars
236) Wild Cherry, A teenage girl plots revenge when she finds out her boyfriend's participating in a school get laid book. Wow. Really bad. Don't bother. 2 stars