Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some of the Best Music You've Never Heard: Snow Patrol vs The Police - Every Car You Chase

Heard this in the movie Just Go With It.
A little bit of The Police.
A little bit of Snow Patrol.
A whole lot of awesome.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Movie Time: Transformers 3 and Horrible Bosses (+ one other really BAD movie)

Have you figured out by now that I really really enjoy movies? Still unsure. How about if I tell you that in the past 5 days I have seen 3 movies in theaters? Or ... how about if I tell you that in two days I spent $100 buying movie tickets (2 Transformers tickets and 3 HP7 midnight 1+2 tickets). That ought to convince you ...

Yesterday and today were great movie days - both very good and both perfect summer movies: easy, funny, blockbusters. 'Nuff said. As for the third movie ... the title really says it all: BAD.

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon
Saw this one the night before it opened. I love sneak peaks! All in all, a very fun and action filled summer blockbuster that delivers exactly what it is supposed to: great effects, easy plot, great one-liners and slew of good and bad guys you just love to watch. Like any other movie of it's ilk, as long as you go into with reasonable expectations you will be very happy with it.

There was a review that jumped out at me and I just have to comment. "Heavy on special effects. Lite on plot." Well duh. For goodness sake. That is like saying Schindler's List was a good movie, but a little sad.

All in all, a very good movie that I would recommend. And if you are going to see it, this is definitely one to spend the $$s in the theater ... in IMAX ... and 3D. Story is good and in keeping with the first two. They bring back a lot of favorite characters and introduce some new ones. Hello McDreamy. But really, the new girl sucks. Megan Fox definitly isn't the best actress ever, but she sure beats the new girl. Shia LeBeouf is over-the-top, full of comments and at times awkward ... just the way we like him. And as for the Transformers - they are back and looking better than ever (literally, some updated vehicle models).

Go see it. It is a perfect summer blockbuster with great effects. And go see it because Michael Bay is awesome at what he does.

Horrible Bosses
Actually had free passes for this one. It officially opens on July 8th (my birthday!). All in all, very funny ... and very worthy of its R rating! Lots of inappropriate and vulgar language and scenes ... but really funny ones!

What I really liked about the movie was the casting - it really was spot on. You got your three old friends who are fed up with their jobs: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis. Funny funny guys who take the old saying "man ... I just wanna kill my boss" a little bit too far. Then the bosses. Man oh man. Cast to perfection. Kevin Spacey is your asshole corporate type. Collin Farrell is lazy weirdo with some very strange tastes. And Jennifer Aniston is a sex-crazed bitch. That about sums it up ... and that's only the main cast. Jamie Foxx. His character? Goes my the name Motherfucker Jones and spent a dime in prison for pirating movies!

I am laughing just writing all this. Honestly a very funny (and raunchy) movie that deserves to be seen if you want to have a good laugh. It is fairly unpredictable at times and has the added benefit of having more scenes to laugh at than only those that you already saw in the preview. This is a problem with films more often than I would like to count. But this one will have you side hurting.

And on a related note. Yay to Jennifer Aniston and whoever her new agent is. This is the second movie I have seen in two weeks that I did not hate her in. In fact ... I actually kind of liked her. The other movie was Just Go With It. She is finally stepping away from her 20-something Rachel persona and taking on better roles that are funny, grown-up and edgy.

Bad Teacher
Good thing they put the main descriptor right in the movie title: BAD. Yup ... one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Definitely one of the top 10 worst ever movies.

Nothing can save this movie. Not the actors, not the plot, and definitly not the poor attempt at comedy.

Save your money. Not even worth $1 at Red Box.

Movie Trailer: Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol

Wow! Saw the new MI4: Ghost Protocol trailer when I went to see Transformers yesterday.
Looks awesome! Great trailer. And ... I swear Tom Cruise looks younger and younger in each installment! Definitely added the first 3 to my Netflix queue.

My favorite kind of mail

My Eurail pass came in the mail today - 8 days of unlimited Swiss train travel. Sigh. Made me want to cry. This represents fresh air, freedom, happiness, ease, calm ... and so much more.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Confessions of a Saleaholic

I thoroughly enjoy Sophie Kinsella's books. All of them. And of course, that includes her Confessions of a Shopaholic series. There are times when I can definitely associate with Becky Bloomwood - though those moments are strictly restricted to the shopping department - I have yet to meet my Luke Brandon. Sigh.

(Pause to look up lovely photos of Hugh Dancy as Luke in the film adaptation and think about his yummy British accent. Sigh.)

For the full effect of this post ... play the Confessions song below - Calling You by Kat DeLuna.

Anyway (stop drooling) ... while I am not a Becky-level shopaholic ... I am a confessed saleaholic. I blame this economy, honestly I do. How's a girl to resist when everything in every store is on super-duper-final-sale?!?!? Nothing is ever full price anymore - nothing! And if you are stupid enough to actually pay full price for anything these days, well, I pity your judgement! Everything goes on sale within weeks of hitting the racks. That's what makes it so hard! Once upon a time, if you wanted to get sale prices, you were usually a season behind. Now ... no such thing. Summer things are on sale right now! Ahhhhh ... the pressure!

I would say that the majority of my shopping is done at the following stores: Banana Republic (good for work business casual), Gap, H&M (for cheap one-season trend items), TJ Maxx/Marshalls (I am partial to the items that I can find there from Tahari, RL, CK). I'll stop in other stores if the right window display or sale sign draws my attention, but these are the main stores I hit up.

So ... here are The Worst Sale Offenders:

Banana Republic
Seriously a horrible sale situation right now. They bring in a new wave of fresh merchandise and styles every few weeks, and just as often do they go on sale. Honestly. I remember a long time ago - when I was too young to actually wear their clothes but I would go in with my mom - that the sale rack was this tiny little corner that was tucked away and that you could never find anything good on. Now? Well ... the sale section takes up 1/4 of the entire store and has a wide selection of every item in every size. And the sales are deep ... not to mention the final sales. EVERYTHING is on sale ... even the non-sale items ... and they ALWAYS have an excuse to have a special one-day sale for 30-40-50-60% off the entire store (including full price, sale, clearance, and final sale items). Honestly. The other day I went in and they were having a MYSTERY coupon event. Got a sealed little coupon which turned out to be 50% off my entire purchase ... on top of the other discounts going on.


Makes sense considering that Gap and BR are from the same family I guess. But still makes life hard when you pass by and see the giant sign for 50% of all already marked down items. So ... that makes those jeans only ... what ... $15? You can never have enough jeans. And besides ... I don't have that exact wash in that exact cut/fit/style.

And those are just two examples of what is going on right there. You know what the malls and window displays look like these days. Retailers are in trouble.

In any case. My solution for the sale-temptation is simple (though surprisingly hard to follow at times) ... just don't go into the malls/stores. Ha. Easier said than done. BUT ... I have been doing better ... honest I have! I have the Amex bill to prove it!

Ok ... I am going to go watch Confessions and try and gain some deep insights on how to better control my shopping urges. (And drool over Hugh Dancy and his yummy British accent).

Calling You - Kat DeLuna

Birthdays and Photographs

It's my birthday in 2 weeks. I'm turning 26. Not gonna lie, this one is a bit scary. This one marks being over the hill in my 20s ... being closer to 30 than I am to 20. Yikes! Though you've heard me say it before ... I don't feel very different now then I did 5 years ago, so I doubt my 26th year will feel very different either.

Anyway ... the upcoming birthday along with my friends new 1 week old baby made me get out the old photos archives and look through. Wanted to share some here because they are just so cute!

I love photos ...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage

You know the old rhyme.
First comes love ...
Then comes marriage ...
Then comes the baby in the baby carriage ...

Now don't get any ideas, none of those apply to me ... not yet anyway. But, I have been surrounded by the first two a lot recently. Lots of engagements and weddings and even a few bouquets caught in the process. Inevitably, the babies and the baby carriages comes soon after all those marriages.

This past week a good friend had a baby - a little girl. The baby is adorable! My friend and her husband are one of the most adoring and nice couples I have ever known and are just lovely - seeing them together always makes me smile! The baby could not have been welcomed into any better family.

I went to visit her today and hear all about her first few days being a mommy and the ins-and-outs of new motherhood. Even held the baby (right up until she started crying ... then I was out of my element). It was so good to see the new mom and talk with her and and just see her with her little girl - made it all seem so real. So grown up. Most of the time I look at the families and babies and new moms out and about and it all just seems so far away. It is like a different world, one in which I am just a distant outsider ... a spectator. But today, with my friend and her little family, I felt like a bit more of an insider for the first time.

Sure, I spent many (many) years babysitting and lots of years teaching swim lessons to three year olds. But back then I thought of it all just as something to do for some spare cash. The kids were sometimes cute and sometimes horrible and always just like younger siblings to me (not that I ever had any). But now, with this baby, for the first time I felt like my perspective had shifted a bit - like I could see a baby as something in my future and not something from my past. Most of the time I still feel like the same girl I was 5 years ago ... I haven't really changed. But moments like this make me realize that time is moving forward, whether I am willing to move with it or not.

So that's it ... just a little bit of introspection triggered my a few hours with a little 7 lb baby and her wonderful mommy. Can't wait to see them both again very soon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Travel Tuesday: 3 years ago ... London

Today is the longest day of the year. Three years ago today I was in London enjoying a lovely day, walking around, getting lost, being free. Three years ago today. Kind of funny though ... I had planned to go to Stonehenge on this day ... then I realized that probably wasn't a good idea. You know ... Stonehenge ... summer solstice ... fanatics. Yeah ... probably not.

Stayed in the city instead. Had one of those great days you can look back on and just smile. And got to d o a whole lot since that day was extra long ... the longest (crazy ... I know!).
  • Took lots and lots of photos ... (though that is any and all days on holiday for me)
  • Got very very cold
  • Went to the big flea market and got a great U2 LP and an awesome fedora
  • Visited Abbey Road and got my Beatles photo
  • Explored Regent's Park
  • Back to Trafalgar square
  • Then a stop at Notting Hill
  • And lots of trips on the tube

Just one of those days of lots of walking and lots of enjoying. No museums, no entry fees ... just getting lost.

Longest Day of the Year and Start of Summer (not that you can tell in Minneapolis).

Happy Longest Day of the Year and First Day of Summer! What a great way to enjoy it here in Minneapolis ... with 70 degrees and storms! So glad I get to really take advantage of that full day of sunshine ...

And to think ... it is only downhill from here until December. Sad.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Spotted: Photo of the Day

Where: Stone Arch Art Festival
What: 3 small dogs riding in one of those pet strollers. Oh man. I normally make fun of these things, but here it just made me say "oooo" because the dogs were so small. AND ... one of them was 14 years old and she couldn't see or hear, so she definitely needed to be riding around in it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Weekend! Minneapolis Done Right!

A great weekend with my great parents!

To the best dad in the whole wide world! Thanks for being awesome. For being my friend, my father, my style guru, my photo buddy, my sunglasses/handbag/scarf source, my golf instructor, etc. Thanks for being you!

To the king ... thanks for being the best! Love ya lots!

A now a photo montage of my dad being the best dad in the whole wide world while being out in the world (litterally ... from Beijing to Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Singapore and back to Beijing ... he's the best!):

It was a great weekend - really took advantage of the best Minneapolis has to offer:
  • Parents came up for Friday/Saturday
  • God of Carnage at the Guthrie
  • Spoonriver and Mill City Farmers Market
  • Stone Arch Art Fair
  • Rock the Garden at the Walker
  • Rode my first ever Nice Ride bike
  • Brunch at French Meadow Bakery

My parents came up on Friday and I treated them to a great new show at the Guthrie: God of Carnage. Wow! Great great great show! Incredible performances and a superb show - hilarious, laugh out loud comedy that actually makes you think. Show opens with two couples meeting in a New York living room to discuss an altercation between their two sons. Starts out tame enough: discussion of what happened ("armed" with a stick ... haha), what each person does for a living, blah blah blah. Truthfully, first five/ten minutes are a bit slow, but it soon winds up ... the pressure building slowly slowly slowly until POP ... it finally explodes into side-ache comedy! Adults yelling and being petulant, throwing things (and throwing up), and overall acting like children. Simply hilarious. The show is 90 minutes with no intermission - believe me, you don't want to interrupt the momentum that they have going. Honestly ... there were moments when the actors had to stop because they were laughing too hard on stage!!! Great great great!

Highly recommended! Get ready for great quotes such as: "You don't want to be singing Ava Maria while fucking!"

BTW ... to the three people who left in the first five minutes deciding this show was not for them. First of all, that was rude. Second of all, dude, you totally missed out!

Saturday was a very full day and I was disappointing that it was overcast and threatening rain/raining all day. Boo. First spot: Soonriver next door to the Guthrie for a yummy yummy brunch while people watching all the folks at the Farmers Market, followed by a brief walk through the market.

Then it was on down to the Nicolle Island Riverfront area for the Stone Arch Art Fair. Lots of people ... lots of the same vendors. Seriously, it is the same people at this and at the Uptown, doesn't really change that much. I like looking at everything and people watching and seeing what is new, but few things actually feel new anymore. This year there seemed a shocking lack of photographers in the mix, but the few that were showcased were the usual suspects. I mean ... they are nice enough, but mostly just large scale typical tourist postcard photos. It is really not that hard to take a good photo when you have Cinque Terre as your background, really. So I guess I find those photographers underwhelming, but there was a lack of any other kind at the show. Oh well. Some good painters, but again I thought that was lacking. Lots of "crafty" stuff which is not really to my liking/interest.

Literally when we got in the car, it started pouring!

Home for a quick change (thank goodness I bought those rain boots before going to Seattle at Christmas ... they came in real handy!) and off to meet some co-workers for HH before Rock the Garden at the Walker. If you are not familiar with the event, here is the basic summary: Walker grassy hill area (where the parking ramp is) get transformed into a giant open area concert for the day, 4 bands, whole lot of food and drinks vendors, big crowds and a good time. Hey ... Josh Harnett was there! I totally missed him, but a co-worker talked with him. Why don't I ever get lucky with those kind of things?!?! It is a really cool event, even though the rain put a bit of a damper on the event, but people were having fun non-the-less. Going barefoot in the mud and soggy grass, coming prepared with tarps, just giving in and enjoying the music. Also got a chance to catch up with a friend of mine who works at the Guthrie.

I had my parents drop me off earlier on their way out of town so I could avoid the horrific parking situation down there. A very good decision! To get home, I ended up taking a Nice Ride bike (since it had stopped raining by then). I had been wanting to for awhile but it just never worked out! But today I felt good with doing it: it was still light out, there weren't too many cars on the road (the streets by my place are not very bike-friendly), and the bikes have those protectors on the wheels so you don't get sprayed when the roads are wet! Overall experience: really fun, but those bikes are really heavy! I will definitely be using them again.

Rest of the weekend was spent doing some shopping, having brunch, some reading, watching a few movies, cleaning, organizing and doing laundry.

Overall a very good weekend that felt very long! I think the next two weeks will also pass by really quick and the weekends will be full! This week we have some things going on and work and some half days (always fun), so hopefully I can get out and enjoy good weather on Calhoun. Then on Sunday my "little" cousin - who is 17 - is flying in for a month long stay with my parents. Yay! Lots going on.

One more time ... Happy Father's Day to my awesome dad! Love you!

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