Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Complain Game!

Last night I was at my second job and I was so tired. I have horrendous circles under my eyes and I'm running out of makeup so I'm pretty much not even bothering to try to cover them up at this point. I don't know what happened to my hair but it was out of control. Not awesomely out of control, but just a frizzy mess even though it was in a ponytail which I think requires a special talent. All the parking spots by my store were taken so I had to park to the bank on the other side of the bank right next door because those are the only parking spots in the kind of nearby area that don't have "No Starbucks Parking" put on them (I don't know how serious the signs are, but I don't want to have to pay to get my truck back either). I had to go back to my truck twice on my way into the store because I kept forgetting things, and even after that I realized I left my markers and some other stuff that I actually needed back there anyway.

I had to work seven hours-ish, after my eight earlier and it took me an hour to get into the swing of things, but then I was pretty okay. I actually stayed later than I was scheduled to help out and was pretty stoked to finally get to crawl under my covers.

But this is what drives me crazy: We all think our situation is so much worse than everyone else around us. I had everyone beat in the "Complain about the amount of time inbetween leaving work and having to be back at work" round. By a lot actually. It made me feel a little better for a tiny bit to gain such expressive looks of sympathy from my coworkers, but that hasn't really stopped the yawning today at all.

I don't know that I'd win any other rounds of the Complain Game though, and for that I am grateful. The issues I'm dealing with this week all pretty much stem from a lack of sleep and that is a problem that can be dealt with kind of easily. Everything else is going really well, and I get my first paycheck from Starbucks this week. That little piece of paper (and of course depositing it) will help me out so much. I will have proof that I am actually doing this for a reason.

The point is this: I am having a rough time adjusting, but this is a choice I made for several reasons. Everything else is good and I am stoked that I have friends who have put up with the whining and encourage me and I am glad that I could see a situation that I could turn around by making some changes and had the opportunity to just do it. Life doesn't always work that way.

Oh, and after Friday I'll probably be able to go buy some more makeup and at least have the option of not looking like death warmed over every day. And I need to work on smiling more and not whining so much. I'm starting to annoy myself actually.

wednesday wonders

...unexpected raindrops on the way to work today. Enough to make a statement, but not so much that I couldn't still walk instead of riding the shuttle.
...making it to each job on time (or even a few minutes early) every day in the past two weeks even though when I am at my not Starbucks job I don't entirely wake up until about five hours after I arrive.
...a sticky kiss from my nephew on Monday.
...MUG rootbeer orange cup with stars on it that my mom bought me a few years ago because it's the perfect Melissa cup.
...I have a boyfriend who not only doesn't freak out when I start crying but is genuinely concerned that I'm going to be okay.
...I have a boyfriend who encourages me and supports me.
...bringing my trusty old cd player to work with me. I am definitely going to get the iPod fixed as soon as I possibly can though. Immediately, if not sooner.
...coworkers at Starbucks loving The Office as much as I do, if not more.
...starting the application process at University of Phoenix and it going really smoothly so far.
...I had several visitors at work last week. I LOVE visitors at work!
...a hug and a kiss from my niece after I took her home from our botched cupcake decorating/night o' fun with Auntie attempt.
...making plans to go to sleep tonight ridiculously early
...good meals. meal tickets for the cafeteria. They were good while they lasted, and went out with a bang. Today was the last day and there was fried shrimp up there. Nice.
...almond steamers new automatic stapler in my office. I hide it every night so this one doesn't get traded out like the last one did when someone else broke theirs. Mine has its own staple remover BUILT INTO it.
...anticipating quality time with K tomorrow. Yay!

Monday, January 29, 2007

oh lord, won't you buy me a mercedez-benz

That's the song stuck in my head today. All day so far. That's what I get for working about 24 hours over the weekend at Starbucks I suppose...

It's Monday and normally I would have a movie review, but I haven't watched any in a week. I realize that's hardly remarkable to the public at large, but K and I used to watch two or three a week. Last week we started one and then stopped it and then started it up again later and stopped it. I think we might be about halfway through it now, but that could be generous.

So instead, a little weekend happiness recap:
-K's sister came to visit me at the store on Friday.
-Mike came by to visit on Friday as well.
-My dad came by with four bags of the best Trader Joe's trail mix there is AND a book I hadn't read yet.
-Working the overnight shift meant I got to read the entire book this weekend.
-I stopped by K's store to say hi to him and he completely lit up when he saw me. That makes a girl feel good.
-I found a spot in my living room for a table that I just stuck off to the side and I think it's going to work well in the new spot.
-I got one shift next week covered, and I might have one shift this week covered. This is perfect because I can handle working the other ones I have.


Friday, January 26, 2007

five things that help on a bad day

1. Almond M&Ms or Almond Snickers.

2. A fresh cup of soda with ice. Pepsi if I'm not working at Starbucks later, Mug Rootbeer if I am. Gotta watch the caffiene, yo.

3. Talking to K for a little bit. Especially when he tells me he loves me because it makes the back of my neck tingle when he does.

4. Making plans to pick up my niece on Monday for an evening that will start with a stop at McDonald's for a happy meal and proceed to my apartment for cupcake decorating and picture taking.

5. Looking at the clock and realizing in about an hour I'll be on my way home where I can walk into my apartment, drop my stuff on the floor, and climb into bed and watch a movie/sleep for three and a half hours.

five reasons why ground turkey is great

1. It's cheaper than ground beef. By a good amount. Enough that I can use that change to buy myself some chocolate out of the vending machine at work and there are some days when I really need some chocolate out of that vending machine.

2. You're pretty much not going to notice any taste difference. ESPECIALLY in something like tacos with all the seasonings or sausage, again with all the seasonings.

3. It's way less greasy than beef. That means not only is it better for you because of having less fat and calories, it's way easier to clean up because you barely have to drain the pan when you're cooking it.

4. Using it in Texas guarantees a good story later.

5. I don't think I really need to give five whole reasons. It's cheap, good, less fat, and easy to clean up. What other reason do you need? :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

wednesday wonders

...blueberry empanadas at Starbucks. The only thing better is when it's paired with an iced grande soy caramel machiatto. The only thing better than that would be a raspberry empanada, which don't currently exist. But blueberry is pretty awesome.
...I got tips this week. I like money.
...The newest episode of The Office: "Maybe your phone is in the ceiling." "Maybe YOU'RE in the ceiling!"
...realizing I can very easily get back into the habit of going to the library every other week or so and actually be reading again. Not only in spite of the two jobs, but quite possibly BECAUSE of the second one.
...hanging out with my sister over the weekend for a little bit while we got my dad's truck back to my parent's house and then me back home. niece asking my sister if I could come play with her and my sister saying I couldn't because I was at work. My niece following up that information by asking where K was.
...really cold ice water with a lot of ice. being so cold outside that the cup I left of mostly ice in my truck last night still had ice cubes in it this morning. Although this could be turned into it being too short of a time between me getting home from work and leaving for work again, but we'll dwell on the delightfulness of cold weather. shirts from Old
...ordering things online in general. Sometimes going to the stores is fun, but mostly it frustrates me. Online shopping can truly be a delight.
...awesome emails and myspace messages this week.
...having friends I can ask for advice even when the situation is embarassing or just awkward to start talking about. DM seeming genuinely glad to have me back working for the company.
...kicking ass on drive-thru bar last night.
...skid proof shoes. I wish all my shoes were skid proof. Except sometimes I like sliding around on the floor, especially when I can do it on purpose and no one around me knows I'm in control. Causing minor heart attacks can be fun.
...K making fideo and it tasting fabulous AND having enough left overs for two more meals.
...ground turkey.
...putting makeup on in the locker room after I actually get to work. I decided that with two jobs I can afford to wear makeup every day because I can afford to buy more when this runs out even if it is kind of expensive for makeup.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

i have a full-time job, a part-time job, and a boyfriend. you're going to have to leave a message.

Last night I was on drive-thru and I was realizing how much I just like it. That may (and probably will) change over the next few months, but right now I find it super easy to be legendary through the headset and at the window. I was joking around with co-workers and customers and I realized I was letting annoying things roll right off my back. Sometimes customers don't order exactly what they want or they're rude for no apparent reason. Sometimes co-workers leave you out of a conversation (accidently or intentionally, it can still be awkward) or meant to ask you to do something but didn't yet are still annoyed when it's not done. I was aware of all of this, but it really didn't bother me. A co-worker said something about me being absolutely adorable and I realized that even though my legs were starting to ache and I knew I'd be tired when I had to get up this morning for my office job, I felt more like myself while working there than I have in a few weeks.

My office job is hard, not because of my actual job description, but because I really don't feel like I fit with the people who work there. I was too quiet at the beginning when I should have given attitude right back and I ended up kind of painting myself into a corner where I just pretty much keep to myself. It's not the worst way to spend forty hours a week getting paid what I do, but it's nowhere near my dream job.

I was talking to a college admissions counselor yesterday and she asked me what my dream job is and I realized that I really don't know anymore. Something with psychology. Something where I get paid to interact with people and interpret how they interact with me, something where I can help people and be challenged and look forward to going to work more than I simply go because I have to.

It's kind of weird that adding another 30 hour a week commitment to my life is helping me to start find my footing again. I've been feeling stuck again, like I've just been sitting and watching everyone around me moving forward. Yesterday, I at least stood up again. Hopefully the steps forward will be good, even if they aren't easy.

Monday, January 22, 2007

i love him.

I was thinking. Maybe I should run for governer of California on the platform that I could get Arnold Schwarzenegger to make movies again.

But I don't really want to move back to California.

Who said anything about you moving to California?

So you're going to dump me and move to California and run for governer?

Maybe. Let's call that plan Q.

Okay. Hey, what's plan A?

Well, plan A is the big one. We can talk about it later.

movie review monday: 13 going on 30

13 Going On 30

Thirteen-year-old Jenna (Shana Dowdeswell) has had enough with the trials of adolescence. In addition to being saddled with a devoted-but-nerdy best friend, Matt (Sean Marquette), she falls victim to one of the dangers of playing Seven Minutes in Heaven with the coolest kids in school: being stranded without a willing make-out partner. Humiliated, Jenna buries herself in the aformentioned make-out closet, wishing she could skip the whole adolescence bit and move straight into adulthood, and miraculously wakes just weeks away from her 30th birthday. Of course, a lot has changed since going to bed the night before, not the least of which being an impressive set of womanly curves. The new, older Jenna (Jennifer Garner) is a successful magazine editor with friends in high places and a lion's share of potential suitors -- including a hockey-playing boyfriend and a swarthy married man. The problem is that her mind hasn't matured with her body; Jenna not only finds living on her own more terrifying than cool, but is quick to dismiss any male over the age of 14 as "gross." Half excited, half mortified, Jenna seeks out Matt (Mark Ruffalo), whom she learns she had spurned as a teenager in an effort to join the popular crowd. ~ Tracie Cooper, All Movie Guide

Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

I first saw this movie awhile back mostly because Jennifer Garner is in it and I heart Alias. I think I had a coupon or some other way of viewing it for free because the whole reason I skipped seeing it in the theater was I figured it would just be the female version of Big. I was surprised and pleased to discover it really wasn't, at least not entirely. Also, this kind of clinched the fact that Jennifer Garner is a good actress. She'll forever be one of the most kickass women on tv from her role as Sydney, but she did a very good job being a thirteen year old in a thirty year old's body.

Jenna isn't the woman she thought she would be as a girl and it brings to light a lot of interesting things for her. She is still in touch with some of the people she grew up with, but she and her very best friend have grown apart. There's a bunch of little things that happens and she only kind of understands since her mind is still 13, but she does fairly well with fitting into her new world. My favorite part about this whole movie is how it ended though. For a few minutes, I thought I was going to be really disappointed, but they came through for me.

So anyway, it's a cute maybe chick flick that is funny and heartwarming and basically a mindless delight. Perfect for watching when you've had a bad day.

Rating: 3 out of 4 stars.

Friday, January 19, 2007

recipe: plain cheap muffins

1/4 cup oil
1 medium egg
1 cup milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder (3 teaspoons)
2 cups flour

In a large bowl combine the oil, egg, milk, sugar and salt. Mix it very well with a fork or wire whisk. Measure in the baking powder and flour. Mix again until all of the dough particles are moistened. Do not over mix. The whole thing should take about 20 to 30 strokes. Spoon the batter into a dozen well oiled muffin cups. Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before removing from the pan.

I made these last night to go with some garlic broccoli chicken I had also made. I think that particular recipe needs some tweaking before I share it, but these muffins were fabulous. I used 1/2 a cup of sugar and they were slightly sweet and had a good flavor and texture. They will be delicious heated up in the morning with some butter and strawberry jam. They're super easy and quick to make, and also very cheap.

I got this recipe from an awesome website called Hillbilly Housewife. She has a bunch of variations on this recipe, and I am looking forward to trying them. Enjoy!

five things you might not know about me

1. I typically set three alarms, about ten minutes apart, to make sure I wake up in time to get ready and get to work without having to severely rush. This is one of the many reasons why I love my cell phone.

2. Everytime I see my nephew, I try to think of a new way to make him laugh so hard his whole body shakes because toddler laughter is one of the most fabulous things in the world. Everytime, I end up resorting to hiding somehow. Ever since I first met him, he has thought the funniest thing in the entire world is for me to hide my face behind my hands, duck down behind a counter, or get under a table and then suddenly reappear. If only other people were as easy to impress.

3. I don't really miss living in California at all. I miss my friends and I miss knowing where a ton of cool stuff is, but I really like San Antonio. I'll always like going back for a visit, especially when I can fit either time in San Francisco or time in Newport Beach in, but I really like where I currently live. I hope that the next time I move I feel the same way, ridiculously content but slightly changed because of the last place I lived.

4. My iPod has been broken since about August and I haven't gotten it fixed because I am afraid of what it will cost. However, I need to get over my fear and go to the Apple store and at least find out how much it will be. I miss it. A lot.

5. I don't ever get tired of watching movies. I could go to the movies and rent them forever and still be quite contently entertained. One of my current absolute favorite things to do on the weekends is to curl up with K and watch a movie. To be fair, that might have to do more with curling up with him than the movie watching, but still. I heart movies. I love having Blockbuster Online, and at first I was worried it'd be weird going into the store and swapping out movies all the time, but now I realize I don't care. It makes me feel rich to have to choose a movie out of a few that I haven't seen yet. I feel the same way about books, but the movie thing is a lot cheaper at the moment. :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

wednesday wonders

It's Wednesday, the day to take a moment and list wonderful things. :)

...freezing cold weather. Seriously, I LOVE it. Just not the driving part, but actually, it's making me less and less nervous.
...remembering to put up my wiper blades so they didn't freeze to my windshield
...getting to work on time. Actually, clocking in early to make up for leaving early yesterday to avoid being frozen into the parking lot.
...not having to go to my second job last night.
...The Office, especially the American one, season 2. Seriously, I laugh out loud every episode I watch, even though I've seen them all at least twice already!
...Mike letting me keep his copy The Office for such a retardedly long time.
...starting my second job and it not being a difficult transition, so far.
...grande almond non-fat lattes.
...Nerds Rope. K bought it for me and it is pure sugar deliciousness. Especially when eaten while also drinking Pepsi.
...pan fried potatoes with onions, then reheated a couple days later with added chicken and cheese. I am such a good cook sometimes. training class being cancelled tonight. I realize it's starting to sound like I'm not excited about this job. Let me assure you, this is not the case. I am not, however, excited about the prospect of driving home in freezing rain and ice generally after sunset, but especially after 9 pm. lunch in the cafeteria. It's never that expensive anyway, but free is even better than not that expensive.
...ducking under the table and making my nephew laugh so hard his whole body shook. Toddler laughs are fantastic.
...Barack Obama thinking about running for President. I actually think the better way to go would be Hillary Clinton as President and him as Vice-President, but I'm stoked he's thinking about it. The man is amazing and I think he'd be a fantastic leader of our country. And I'm serious about Hillary Clinton. I love her too.
...blogs. bed. I love my bed. It doesn't even have that great of a mattress, but I still love it. When I get married, that's the first big purchase I want to make. A truly fabulous bed and everything that goes with it. Maybe second big purchase. Our rings will definitely be as kickass as we can possibly make them. mad typing skillz.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

freezing rain

I was kind of confused about the concept of freezing rain until last night's experience and this morning's confirmation.

When I got to finally clock out from the coffee shop (after "can you do just one more thing?"), I was so excited to get to go home. My feet were hurting and it was kind of a long shift. I was supposed to be training, and the first day is supposed to be a sit down with the store manager and a tour of the store and going over some basic things. I only quit working for this company in September, so it wasn't all that long ago, but who knows what I've forgotten? For example, I used to have my boyfriend's employee numbers memorized and it was only last week that I could remember them again because I overheard him saying them. Also, my last store did roughly half the business this one does and this one is a drive-thru. It's been over a year since my last drive-thru experience. I was glad to have a refresher course, even if it was abbreviated.

Except, what actually happened was my manager briefly (as in what normally takes two hours took twenty minutes) went over some information, had me sign all the forms I needed to fill out, and then I assigned a till. I was on register the rest of the night. I could handle that, but I couldn't really handle side tasks on top of it. Obviously in a couple of weeks I'll be back up to speed, but it's not entirely fair for the person running the shift to be annoyed that I wasn't done with tasks I haven't done in at least four months, if not longer. Basically, if the rest of my training goes like this and I don't get any tips, I will probably throw a controlled fit.

I'm tired.

But anyway, I went out to my truck, thrilled to get to go home and take a shower and then sleep. Mmmm, sleep. I love my bed. I love snuggling down into it, under the sheet and two blankets and a lovely soft comforter. I like to turn down the heat slightly at night just so I can thoroughly enjoy the being wrapped up in all the blankets part of my bed. As I walked out to my truck and my hands and face instantly became cold, I was even more excited about getting into bed. And then I got closer to my truck.

It was covered in ice. It had this really cool texture from how the rain had fallen and then froze, but my truck being covered in ice was definitely going to delay me getting home to my bed. I kind of know how to live in cold weather and I knew I had an ice scraper inside my truck. Why, I don't actually know, but I don't ask questions like that. I yanked open my door and turned my truck on with the defroster on full blast and then looked around for the scraper. I didn't find it immediately so I went around to the passenger's side to look there and I could not get the door open. It was frozen shut.

That's when I realized it was going to be awhile.

I was tired and frustrated and realizing that even after I got enough ice off my windows to be able to see, the roads were going to be at least mildly treacherous if not just plain awful. And then what about the next morning when I had to drive to work before sunrise? What if when I got to work they just sent me home because no one had to come in? What if the electricity was out when I got home? What if...? When my mind started going crazy like that, I realized I need to just sit in my truck and talk to someone while waiting for everything to defrost. It probably wasn't as bad as I was suddenly making it in my head.

K to the unknowning rescue. I told him about everything I was frustrated about and he told me about his day and then wanted to stay on the phone with me until I got home to make sure I was going to be okay. It took half an hour of sitting in the parking lot with my truck running and scrapping ice and everything else to be able to leave.

And do you know what freezing rain is? It's when it's raining, but when it hits your windshield, it freezes. It's completely fabulous while driving home after a long day. By fabulous, I of course mean that frustration one feels inbetween panic and despair. I parked illegally under one of the car ports and made sure to leave my wipers up so they couldn't freeze to my windshield again.

I turned my heater from it's normal 68 ish to 75, hopped in the shower, and got into bed. I did finally get to snuggle down under the covers.

I think I get to do it all again today. Awesome.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Hey, thanks for taking my glasses off when I fell asleep.

Sure. Actually, I would have thought you would figure it was the glasses fairy.

Well, I did think about it, but it seemed more likely it was you. It was awfully cold outside.

Good point.

movie review monday: the sting

The Sting

Four years after setting box offices ablaze in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill reteamed with similar success for The Sting. Redford plays Depression-era confidence trickster Johnny Hooker, whose friend and mentor Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones) is murdered by racketeer/gambler Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Hoping to avenge Luther's death, Johnny begins planning a "sting"--an elaborate scam--to destroy Lonnegan. He enlists the aid of "the greatest con artist of them all," Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), who pulls himself out of a drunken stupor and rises to the occasion. Hooker and Gondorff gather together an impressive array of con men, all of whom despise Lonnegan and wish to settle accounts on behalf of Luther. The twists and surprises that follow are too complex to relate in detail: suffice to say that you can't cheat an honest man, and that you shouldn't accept everything at face value. The Sting became one of the biggest hits of the early 1970s: grossing $68,450,000 during its first run, the film also picked up seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Adapted Score for Marvin Hamlisch's unforgettable setting of Scott Joplin's ragtime music. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Recently I watched Ocean's 12 again and was talking to my dad about it. Ocean's 11 is one of my favorite movies because you could technically figure out the whole thing as you're watching it, but mostly you're just rooting for the nicer set of bad guys to win even though it seems utterly impossible. Ocean's 12 has more make you laugh out loud moments though. I've always said that if I were to start commiting crimes, that would be my style. Non-violent, large takes, and kickass stories. The Italian Job is another fabulous example of what I'm talking about. I figure if I were to get caught, I'd at least want a great story. My dad suggested I see The Sting because he's pretty sure it was one of the first movies with that kind of story line to it.

The Sting is terrific. It came out in 1973, so there are parts of the style that are not used these days, but I think that's part of the charm. It takes place in the 30's and the music is great. Robert Redford and Paul Newman are hotties in this movie and the whole thing was acted very well. I enjoyed all of the twists and turns and would reccommend this to anyone who likes drama and stories that you can almost figure out before they end but probably won't catch everything. A must see for anyone who loves movies like Ocean's 11, The Italian Job, etc. This one really set the bar for all con movies.

Rating: Five out of five stars. Basically, just rent it. Immediately.

Also recommended: Matchstick Men

Sunday, January 14, 2007

my apartment smells like chicken

My lovely friend Splenda just posted a bunch of recipes on her blog. I read them as I boiled chicken. I have all of these terrific recipes that call for chicken and I found a web site with a bunch of tips on cooking well on a budget. One of the biggest tips is buying certain cuts of meat. I've pretty much only purchased boneless skinless chicken breast or strips. You can get roughly twice as much chicken for half the price if you get bone in chicken or leg quarters or whole chickens. When I made chicken and dumplings earlier this week, I bought a whole chicken that was cut up because I am simply not ready to attempt carving a whole chicken even if it is a cheap way to have meat in my apartment.

Well, I bought the wrong kind of cheaper chicken. I bought split chicken. I don't mind the bones or skin or pulling it apart to cook it and all of that. But I don't know where to cut what apart! And I don't really have knives sharp enough to do that anyway. Last night K made chicken fettucini and he just kind of cut as much meat as he could off of what I had purchased and cooked that up. It was delicious, but I do believe he prefers the boneless skinless chicken breast.

I don't know what I'm going to do with about five pounds of boiled chicken, but at least I can pull the meat off a lot easier this way. So it's not entirely a waste. I am still looking foward to those recipes. Now that I know I'm going to be working at Starbucks again and I have 25.5 hours for my very first week, maybe it would just be better if I paid more money and got the prepped chicken.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

texas vs. california

I've only lived here a year so I still occassionally think about the vast differences between Texas and California. I actually am a fan of living here and amazingly glad I moved, but I had never realized how thoroughly to the core I am Californian until I moved to another state.

Here's some food you can get in Texas that I'd never encountered in California:

-frozen pizza from the grocery store topped with pepperoni and jalapenos
-fried pickles at a restaurant
-corn fritters (fried nuggets of cream of corn)
-sweet tea as almost always an option if not just the default
-sushi that has roast beef in it
-candied jalapenos

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

humpday happiness!

Thank you, Mike, for the suggestion for the Wednesday theme. Yay!

Here's a list of happy things that either happened this week or I am just particularly delighted by at the moment:
...chicken and dumplings for dinner last night, with a lovely toasted loaf of French bread on the side. niece being excited about coming over to bake cupcakes with me to celebrate her birthday.
...retractable pens that have orange and pink ink.
...cold cold cold mornings.
...a good interview at the Bux to hopefully be rehired for a weekend shift.
...the possibility of another lengthy hot bubble bath in my parent's giant tub this weekend.
...seeing the movie Snakes on a Plane.
...K laying down next to me, keeping his eyes closed, but puckering up for a kiss. tank of gas is lasting abnormally long. soda as long as I bring my cup to work.
...Almond Snickers. that is long enough and thick enough to put up with a pencil.
...a nice warm bed to snuggle into when it's cold outside.
...The Office.
...two email buddies for during the day.

shh, don't tell anyone

I'm a nerd. I can't help it. I'm sure part of it is my dad always at least knows about the latest technology if not has it. But mostly, I just love advances and gadgets and cool random stuff. So I know when Steve Jobs is about to make an announcement and I look forward to hearing the highlights later. I look forward to my dad sending me the link for the stream of the keynote address.

I won't be able to afford it anytime soon, so I just want someone I know to get an iPhone when they're available in June. Just let me hold it for a minute. I'll do my best to not drool on it.

Monday, January 8, 2007

movie review monday: apocalypto


Full Synopsis:
As the foundation of the Mayan civilization begins to crumble, one man's previously idyllic existence is forever changed when he is chosen as a sacrifice needed to appease the gods in director Mel Gibson's mythic, end-times adventure. The Mayan kingdom is at the absolute height of opulence and power, but leaders are convinced that unless more temples are constructed and more human sacrifices made, the crops, and ultimately the people, will suffer. Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) is a peaceful hunter from a remote forest tribe whose life is about to be changed forever. When Jaguar Paw's village is raided and he is prepared as a sacrifice that the Mayan deities have demanded, the brave young hunter is forced to navigate a horrific new world of fear and oppression. Fearlessly determined to escape his captors and save his family from a harrowing demise, Jaguar Paw prepares to risk it all in one final, desperate attempt to preserve his dying way of life. However, few who have seen the sacrificial alter of the Mayans have managed to live to see another day. Now, in order to rescue his pregnant wife and young son, Jaguar Paw will have to elude the most powerful warriors of the Mayan kingdom while using his vast knowledge of the forest to turn the tables on those who would rather see him dead than set free. Inspired by such ancient Mayan texts as the Popul Vuh, Apocalypto marks a comprehensive collaboration between director Gibson, Cambridge-educated screenwriter Farhad Safinia, and world-renowned archeologist and Mayan culture expert Dr. Richard D. Hansen -- whose services as a special consultant on the film lent the production an unprecedented degree of historical accuracy. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Running Time:
2 hours 17 minutes

Okay, I heard about Mel Gibson making this movie FOREVER ago and completely did not understand the concept at all. I figured he was going a little crazy maybe. Then I saw a long preview in the theater in the spring or maybe early summer and I was intrigued. I thought that Mel Gibson might be going crazy, but he was going to make a little money off of me going to see his film and figure out what the deal was. The release was delayed because of all those crazy rain storms and then when it did finally come out, I didn't rush out and see it for some reason or another.

This weekend, K said he wanted to go to the movies and I was actually kind of surprised when he suggested a few other titles before this one. There are about four we both want to see and we didn't decide until we were almost at the ticket window to just see Apocalypto. I picked it because I figured of the ones we were deciding between, this one was probably the one that would be most enhanced by seeing it on the big screen.

I LOVED this movie. There was action, suspense, love, and some really powerful themes. On top of that though, it was a beautifully made film. The cinematography was incredible and the actors were impressive, especially since several of them (if not all) had never been involved in a movie before. It is not in English, but it only took me a few minutes to get so caught up in what was happening that I forgot I was reading along. It was much bloodier than I had expected, but I don't feel it was gratuitous at all. There are a lot of deaths and difficult scenes to watch, but nothing was over the top or disgusting for disgusting's sake.

There is a lot of evil and anger and vengenace in this movie, but I think the main theme was overcoming fear. I also don't think the point is that man is evil. The story is based on supposed events of the downfall of the Mayan civilization, but I don't think anyone knows for sure what exactly happened. I would characterize the plot as the story of an ordinary man choosing to act heroically in a set of circumstances there would be no shame in succumbing to.

But anyway, go see it. And see it in the theater where the screen draws you in and it's loud and it's an experience. There specific scenes that just won't have the same effect being seen at home.

Rating: five out of five stars. Be ready to be drawn into a world completely different from your own to root for someone you hope you can be like.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

my niece turns three on monday

I enjoy kids on a case by case basis. I made a crapload of money in high school by baby-sitting, but even then I didn't like every kid I met. Once I baby-sat three kids and I got paid twenty dollars an hour and I still never went back because they were little hellions. My mom used to make fun of me actually because when I would see babies, I never cooed over them the way I guess girls are supposed to. I told her it would probably be different if it was my sister's kids or if I had kids, of course I would be gaga over them.

When my sister told me she was pregnant, I was excited for her because I knew she and her husband wanted to have kids, but I was a little afraid the whole time she was pregnant that I wouldn't like her kid. Newborn babies are awfully boring, really. And babies don't start talking for YEARS. But anyway, my niece was born about 450 miles north of where I was living, so the next weekend, I drove up to meet her.

My sister actually met me at the door with her and put her in my arms before I really even had a chance to set my bag down or say hi to her or her husband. But once I was holding her, all thoughts of anything else completely flew out of my head. I was instantly captivated. And then when she started crying and I tried to give her a pacifier and she was using her little hands to push mine away so she could keep crying, I knew we would be friends. Anyone who is that fiesty at one week old is amazing.

So she's just about three now and as soon as she figures out how much she has me wrapped around her finger, I'm screwed. Actually though, until a few weeks ago, I'm pretty sure she was convinced I exist to be her playmate. It was fairly dramatic when she realized sometimes I'm an adult too. I absolutely love hearing her little voice yelling "Auntie!" over and over again as she runs to jump on me. This is usually followed by her taking my hand and saying "Come, follow me!"

Being with her calms my heart. The past two years especially have been tainted by uncertainty at greater amounts during some times than others, but every time I'm sitting and talking with her or running around outside or letting her play with my hair, all feelings of inadequacy, self-consciousness, and inferiority disappear. I am 100% comfortable with my role in life as Auntie. I can only hope as she continues to grow up and we get to know each other as people that she likes being around me too. That child has captivated my heart and I don't imagine that sense of wonder going away any time soon.

this many lists of five probably won't happen every friday

Five Reasons Why I Absolutely Adore K:
1. Tonight, what he wanted to do most was take me out. I actually don't particularly care what we do as long as I get to spend time with him, but it was adorable to me that he wanted to take me out because he hasn't in awhile. I have a man who wants to take me out.
2. He really played with my niece when she offered him a cup of fake tea. Not only did he politely take the cup, but he also pretended to fix it up and when she put her hand out to take the cup back, he told her he wasn't done yet. The look of surprise and delight on her face was fantastic and I fell harder for him. I just needed him to be nice to her, but the fact he really played with her (that was only the first round of tea that night) was super great. It was to her too, because the next time she saw him, she remembered his name. First of all, she's only almost 3 and secondly, she never remembers anyone's name.
3. Sometimes he'll kiss me like forty times in a minute and I try to keep up but it always makes me laugh.
4. He is the best cuddler ever. It took us awhile to get the whole laying down together watching movies thing, but we've got it down pat now. He smells terrific and does the exact perfect mix of us wrapping up in each other without making it so I can't breathe. And he also never ever gets annoyed that I'm so fidgety.
5. He tells me that he loves me all the time. It's usually more than just once. Sometimes he'll tell me he loves me and I'll tell him I love him too and then he'll say "Good." That's probably my favorite because he seems so satisfied that I really do love him too. Those words are precious to me and I'm so glad to have someone who doesn't get tired of me saying it or saying it himself.

Friday, January 5, 2007

i wish you got some sort of credit for people signing up

Five Reasons Why Blockbuster Online is AWESOME
1. It's convienent. You set everything up online, including billing, and you can access the web site anywhere you can go online. You can even go into a Blockbuster store now and play with your online que.
2. There are awesome search engines for looking movies up by actors, titles, release dates, or genre. It's easy to find what you're looking for and also get reccommedations of things you may also be interested in.
3. You get three dvds at a time in the mail and you can keep them for as long as you want. You can mail those back in, or you can take the dvd in the envelope to a Blockbuster store and trade it for a new rental. When you do that, it counts as it being returned and the next movie in your list is sent to you. You can watch a ton of movies super fast or rent tv shows on dvd and it not be a rip-off.
4. It's crazy easy to update your list, switch the order around, and get movies.
5. It's cheap! With tax it's $19.45 a month. That is super cheap entertainment for me and K. He's an amazing sport about watching chick flicks with me, but since we can take those envelopes to the store and trade them in for different movies immediately, we're both pretty much always happy with the choices we have. A meal and a movie is one of our favorite things to do, and cooking at home and getting Blockbuster online has made things much cheaper in our worlds.

Friday Five

Five Reasons My Neighbors (that I've never met) Annoy Me:

1. Their teeny tiny dog's name is Mojo. I hear this a lot because they stand outside and say "Mojo! Get over here! Mojo, now!"
2. Twice they have cleaned off their shoes in front of my door, leaving dog poop right where I can easily step in it. I know it was them because there was a shoe trail that led from the walkway, over to my door, into their apartment.
3. They regularly park over the lines, taking up two spaces. Sure, there are a ton of empty parking spots over by my place, but why would you regularly take up two? It makes you look retarded.
4. They leave bags of trash outside their door for days (and a couple of times over a week) at a time. First of all, I don't need to see or smell your trash. Second of all, I had an unfortuante experience with a possom outside my apartment in California and I've seen WAY more wildlife here and would rather not repeat the experience.
5. Every time I see them and smile and say hello, they look at me like I'm retarded for trying to talk to them and be neighborly.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

mmm, sleep

I came home from work a little early today, ate lunch, talked to my mom for a few minutes, and then went to sleep. I slept for about five hours. Then I went to the store to pick up some more cold medicine, orange juice, and kleenex, and came home. I talked to my dad for a few minutes, ate dinner, and I'm about to go sleep some more.

I am tired.

I'm mostly tired of being sick, but I'm also tired of all the random little things that have added up to a fairly serious amount of stress in my life. Most of it is incidental and no one's real fault, so the things that are actual people's fault are making me very angry. That feeling will subside soon enough as the problem once again goes underground, but the next time it rears its ugly little head, I honestly don't know what will happen on my end. Not an instigation of physical violence, don't worry. I'm not sure I can always turn the other cheek, but I do know that I would never start a fist fight. Or slap fight or pushing match. It just really isn't in me.

It's awesome that my Wisconsonian friend is back in town for a little bit because it is excellent talking with him in person. I am feeling better tonight than I did this morning so that's good, and there was a new episode of The Office on tv tonight that had me laughing out loud in that first part before the credits even roll. That's always a good sign.

Come back later for the first edition of The Friday Five!

Good times, good times.

Monday, January 1, 2007

movie review monday: the last kiss

Full Synopsis:
A successful 30-year-old (Zach Braff) with a the perfect girlfriend (Jacinda Barrett) and a lucrative outlook on life struggles with the increasing pressures of adulthood as he weighs the merits of settling down with the woman who loves him against risking it all to be with a comely co-ed (Rachel Bilson) in director Tony Goldwyn's remake of Gabriele Muccino's 2001 comedy drama. Crash and Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis adapts a script originally penned by Italian filmmaker Muccino, and Casey Affleck, Eric Christian Olsen, and Tom Wilkinson co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Running Time:
1 hour 43 minutes

As are girls wont to do, my friend KP and I talk about what we want out of relationships and what we hope our marriages look like. Both of us sometimes waver between wanting and not wanting to get married, and this movie pretty much sums up what we are both afraid of. It's a very well done movie, and well acted. I believed all of the characters. I could see real people facing those exact situations and reacting in the same ways.

I guess that's the problem I have with the movie. It was well done and underrated, but entirely depressing. The Last Kiss presents a slice of life, with its joy and heartache, its messiness, and how oftentimes situations seem to end unfinished. I wil go see anything Zach Braff is in, only partly because I have this weird fake crush on him. Mostly it's because his projects always challenge the viewer to examine themselves and their world in a way they either hadn't before or at least in awhile. Truth be told, if my boyfriend or husband cheated on me, I'd be gone so fast his head would spin.

Rating: four out of five stars, but reccommended only with hesitation. You must be ready to think and maybe be a little sad if you choose to see this movie.