Saturday, January 31, 2009


Boy! It's been a long time since my last post. I've seen two movies, burned thousands of calories and wasted hundreds of hours on the internet since we last spoke.

But let's get real. Tomorrow is the Super Bowl. And you can't really be considering watching this game without reading my baseless opinion first, right?!

Theoretically, I should be an expert on football. I literally spend over 50 hours a week reading about football. While I've been a football fan for almost a decade now, this year was truly a crash-course for me.

So why can't I decide who to pick?

Initially, my feeling was definitely towards the Cardinals. They were the underdog, they had the momentum, the hottest player and the more reliable quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger has spent half the season on his back and one of his top targets, Hines Ward, has a wonky knee.

But then EVERYONE started feeling the Cardinals. Suddenly, the pick didn't seem so chic. I started to doubt. After all, who can question the Steelers defense? They've been consistent, while the Cardinals had a well-documented shaky season. 

In the end, I always take the team with momentum. I should have seen it coming last year with the Giants. Sure, the Pats were 17-0, but the Giants won three huge road games to advance to the big game. They just seemed to be on more of a roll.

The Cardinals seem to be on a similar roll. I hope it will be a good game, but I don't know that it will be close. 

Final pick: Cardinals 41, Steelers 17.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

At the movies with Emily and Jeff: Revolutionary Road

Let's just get this out of the way.

I saw Revolutionary Road last night and I still want to get married.

After months of build-up, I felt that when this movie was finally released, people were telling me how 'depressing' it was and how it had a 'sad ending.' Well, yeah. Was that not apparent in the previews? Why was everyone all of a sudden scared of seeing this movie? It had two fantastic actors, an award-winning director, Golden Globe nominations and great reviews.

Well, the logical conclusion is that they were afraid of what it would say, how it would make them feel. Personally, I don't let movies have that much of an impact on me, but even Jeff said to me before we walked into the theater, "Don't let this movie convince you not to get married."

Don't be silly. I saw none of Jeff and I in these two characters. For one, it's not the 1950s anymore. Part of what Kate Winslet's character was feeling was society pressures and housewife claustrophobia. I have no such problem. Not only do I have a job, I have a job I love. I'm not scared of having children, and I wouldn't feel trapped with them.

On top of that, Jeff is a custom-built family-man. He loves me exactly how I am and he can't wait to have kids. Although, let's be serious, the problems with coping came from Winslet's
character moreso than Leo's.

I loved the movie. It reminded me of Closer, which tackled similar subject matter, and is also one of my favorite movies. Jeff thought Winslet's acting was amazing, while I argued that Leo's was even better. He disagreed, but I seriously think DiCaprio's acting doesn't get enough credit. He acted the pants off of his part in the Departed. He's so fantastic in that movie.

Here's where I break off and tell you about my celebrity experience with Leonardo DiCaprio. I was working at the Union Oyster House in Boston as a cashier and during one day shift, a man came up to the counter and asked where the bathroom was. Without really looking up, I recited the words I'd said a million times, "Up the stairs around the corner to the left." Then I looked up to make sure the message had registered. The man, in a white T and pulled down Lakers hat, said "Thank you" then turned around. I paused for about 10 seconds, confused by the voice. Then I turned to my coworker and said, "Was... was that Leonardo DiCaprio?" We geeked a little bit while waiting for him to come back our way. Even when he did it was hard to tell, his hat was pulled down so low. It took ... six or seven? walks by his table to confirm. He ended up coming by three nights in a row, while filming the Departed, once coming with Gisele, though I wasn't there. (Weird she's pretty much the only other celebrity I've seen up close.)

Gosh, wasn't that a fascinating story? I thought so.

Back to Revolutionary Road... Jeff's thoughts:

"It was exactly what I expected. An excellent, depressing movie. Kate Winslet was fantastic. That's enough."

I'll add one more thought that he had, as an excerpt of a convo we had last night.

Jeff: "Was it just me, or were the clothes Leo wore like, really baggy?"
Me: (Pause.) "Did you just ask that because Kris Kross is on the radio?"

Final Ranking: Four Werschaibles.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's been a long time, shouldn't have left you, without a dope LOST to step to...



Didn't I just set the scene there? It goes better if you slowly cock your head to the side.

I went down to Rhodey last night to watch the premiere of LOST. (Yes, always in caps because it's that major of a show.) With Jeff on what feels like the longest business trip of all time, I couldn't watch it alone. Who would I go "What the .... ?" too?

I couldn't have had better company. My best friends Andrew and Justin are LOST-philes just like me (I got them both into it, whether they admit it or not). We ate dinner at Whole Foods, well, Andrew and I ate, Justin scoffed at our "health food." He went to Spikes. Then over to Andrew's house to sit in a cold, dark den and watch a huge TV.

We watched the entire preview special, a 1-pound bag of M&Ms to keep us company. (We ate the whole damn thing, but I don't THINK I ate a third).

Some of you might know that I was EXTREMELY underwhelmed by the season 4 finale. Probably because I read the entire thing online about a week and a half before. My major problems were two-fold 1.) You move the island with a frozen donkey wheel? Shut the heck up. and 2.) What, they're gonna resurrect John Locke? Not cool. I may not be that religious, but I have a problem with that allegory.

That being said, I super loved the premiere. Things I liked:

1. Sawyer, shirtless. Yeah, don't need to say much more there do I?

2. Daniel Farraday and his soap-style acting. His lines were so over-the-top and he was obviously expected to deliver the episode's biggest lines, and he did with John Black-style aplomb.

3. Someone from 'the people we don't care about' dying. I don't even remember his name and was it important? You knew that once he started talking smack to Sawyer he was a goner. The group pondered how he was die (I thought shark-attack, Darma shark anyone?) but flaming arrows while he screamed 'Fire!' were much, much better.

4. I loved the scene between Hurley and his mom "I believe you... I don't understand you, but I believe you." Awesome. Also, bonus points for any episode where Cheech Marin is involved.

5. Time travel. I've heard some people scoff at this, but I love it. I suspect they're going to be traveling through time for quite a few episodes. Old characters are going to be reappearing, disappearing, causing drama, and no doubt breaking hearts all over again. Love it. 

People are disappointed because they want LOST to be more science than Sci-Fi. Well, let me let you in on a secret. Lost writers are just that ... writers. Stephen Hawking doesn't have a writing credit on this show. It's pure fantasy. Just go along with it. We're all on this string together. ;)

Overall I thought the premiere was predictable, yet unpredictable at the same time. We're left with plenty of questions, no real new answers. We've got Desmond and Ben on a mission, which is awesome. We've got the Oceanic 6 back together. And I suspect, and I hope, that they're going to have to tell us how exactly to get to the island in an upcoming episode, and I'm hoping it doesn't involve a submarine.

Thoughts? I know most of my readers watch this one!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

At the movies with Emily and Jeff: Gran Torino and Slumdog Millioniare

I know, I know. I'm not very timely. But when I knew I was going to see Slumdog Millionaire this weekend, I decided just to hold off on my thoughts on Gran Torino.

Just a warning: these aren't going to be very good. But more importantly, these will include extensive spoilers, so if you haven't seen these movies and want to, I would avoid.


Like both movies I saw this weekend, this wasn't quite what I expected it to be. I knew going in it was going to be a little bit cheesy, because the commercials seemed to be a bit over the top (Cue: "Get of my lawn!" ... which, of course, every time it was heard Jeff immediately said "Get off my plane!"). I figured Clint Eastwood is far too good of an actor/director/composer to not know he's over-acting.

That said, I thought the movie did start off a little slow, and I thought the "Walt" character a little one-note. But there were laughs, and as Walt got to know his Hmong neighbors, the story picked up. 

Obviously, Walt is a racist. Obviously, people in the audience laughed at the over-the-top racist names and comments. Does this mean racism is funny? Well, no, but I don't think that's why people laughed. I think we laugh because we're uncomfortable with how we should react and since we're suspended in world of entertainment, we forgive it, and laugh. It's easier.

Apparently, it was also easier in the movie, as none of the characters seem the least bit offended by the overt racism. I don't know if it's because Walt "saved" Tao, or because they are the most laid back teenagers on planet earth, but both Jeff and I thought the dialogue ran a little false. A little Juno-fied

When the story took a dark turn as Tao's house is shot up and Sue is raped, I could feel myself saying "This is predictable" but I couldn't help being sucked in. And of course I cried at the ending, even though I saw it coming a mile away. 

I liked this movie a little more than Jeff. 

Jeff's thoughts: "Clint Eastwood was excellent. But the dialogue for anyone under 75 was terrible. It sounded like an old person writing for young people. Dog, this, homie that. 

More thoughts?

I was slightly disappointed by it. It was still a good movie but it didn't live up to the hype, it was very predictable.

You want more than that? That's plenty don't you think? Stop staring at me."

Final rating: Three-and-a-half Werschaibles.


I knew next to nothing about this movie when I took my seat. I had known almost nothing until my dad told me it was about "a kid on a game show" and then I saw the clip on the Golden Globes and knew it somehow involved "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" So, based on that info, I thought this might be a comedy. Should have known it wasn't considering it was directed by Danny Boyle.

Well let's get this right out of the way. This was a predictable movie. You also have to suspend reality quite a bit when it comes to the actual game show. Now, I'm not sure if this game show is actually the biggest thing in India, but they sure paint it that way. But somehow Jamal is able to walk around after he wins in the train station with no one bothering him.

But the acting is reallllly good. For a movie that depends on more than half of the serious acting coming from children, it's remarkable what they're able to achieve. It's funny, it's heartbreaking, it's revolting, it's uplifting. It isn't great, but you won't be bored. There aren't really any plot twists. You won't be confused (except maybe for one part), and it will play out in a way to make you happy. I didn't cry (for once!).

Jeff's thoughts: "It was as I expected. A great movie, not one that necessarily interested me, but it was definitely a good movie.

(Movie announcers voice): Gritty and real!

You can add my criticism of the person sitting next to me. You can also mention my big pet peeve at the end. Applause of an inanimate object."

I'll interject here. For some reason, Jeff gets boiling hot when people applaud movies. Personally, it doesn't bother me that much. But Jeff starts shooting dirty looks like he's gonna get into it with someone. Whateva.

Final rating: 3.75 Werschaibles (yes, that was Jeff)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Now playing

Before I get into my movie review, I have some things I have to say about the state of movies in general. Well, not movies per say, but the 15 minutes I spend in the movie theater before the movie starts. We'll call it "Joy and Pain."

Pain: If I have to watch that Pepsi 'What is love' commercial one more time, I may have to kill someone. I never thought I could dislike Joe Buck more than when he's bobbing his head to some stupid SNL skit which wasn't that funny then and really isn't funny now. I wish Aikman would punch him in the face. Everyone in this commercial grosses me out. It's so dumb. 

Pain: The National Guard song/commercial. Now I want to be careful here, because I know some people who read this blog have spouses in the military, and I want to make it clear before I go off on a little rant here that I have nothing but respect for them.

Now, any of you who have gone to the movies recently have probably seen this commercial/music video. If not, click here

This irritates me on so many levels. First, I don't appreciate the glamorization of war. I think it's laughable how they re-stage Normandy and the Revolutionary war here. This is not a movie, it's real life and it's not glamorous. It's a terrible way to draw people in.

Secondly, are the makers of this commercial aware that there are females in the national guard? Three points to you if you can find the only woman in this video. How insulting. I guess female national guardsman aren't as camera-ready or courageous as their male counterparts. There was a girl I went to high school with who died in Iraq. While I won't pretend that we were friends, we certainly weren't enemies and I was very, very sad to hear of what happened to her. And it's stupid videos like this that make me mad that America still doesn't understand female contribution to war.

Thirdly, what's the point of this video? In the words of Kramer's boss "I don't even know what this is supposed to be." That one day you can be playing football, and the next day you'll be at war? Well then, sign me up! It's so stupid. 

It mostly makes me mad because I feel like it makes war corny and cinematic, which I believe is disrespectful to the people who are there. Ok, end rant.

Joy: How excited am I for the Robert Downey Jr./Jaimee Foxx movie "The Soloist." Last night when I saw this preview for maybe the fifth or sixth time, I leaned over to Jeff and said "I'm not sure how great this movie will be, but I think this might be the best trailer for a movie I've ever seen." The way they use the music, intertwined the lines, it's perfect. You can see it here. But it's not coming out til November??!?

Pain: That journo movie coming out with fat-a** Russell Crowe. Let me tell you something, and let me be real clear: Journalists are not action heroes. In no circumstances has a journalist ever been involved in a gun fight. Most journalists are fat, so Crowe got that right, but we're intellectuals, we're not super heroes. I will not be seeing this movie under any circumstances, and you should avoid it as well. Lame.

OK, I gotta go get my tires fixed, be back soon.

At the movies, with Emily and Jeff

I've decided to start a new feature here on the blog called "At the Movies with Emily and Jeff" Ohmygod what a clever title!

Quick aside (I know, already): Jeff is part of the party planning committee at his office. If memory serves me right, he is the only male member. But that doesn't mean his ribbon with the party planning committee logo is any less masculine. Anyways, Jeff fancies himself the star of this operation and at the first meeting of the year, he has all sort of suggestions. One is a movie at lunch idea, ala the Office. Watch one hour of a movie every day for a couple of days, maybe do this once a month. They have a big projector in their empty cafeteria that would be perfect for this.

So Jeff says they should come up with a name for it. Another member thinks hard. She comes up with "Lunch Movie." Jeff says, "That's the best you can do?" She pushes for his suggestion. He declares that they should call it "Screen Feast."

Well, I thought I came up with a much better title when Jeff was telling me the story. "Munchies." It's like Movies + Lunch. It's Munchies. Get it! Jeff wasn't impressed. 

Back to the new feature. Jeff and I go to a lot of movies. We go to an average of one a week, and sometimes more than that. We are the quintessential dinner and a movie couple, prematurely old-fashioned. We particularly like matinees. Whatever, it's our thing, and I love it.

I always think when I get home that I should write a review for the movie I've seen, to educate the masses who aren't getting their fill on blog movie reviews. 

We'll do stars (0-5) but we'll cleverly call them "Werschaibles" So you can get an idea of where we stand, here' some previous movies we've seen and what their Werschaible(s) rating might be.

Five Werschaibles: Dark Knight. This is a movie Jeff and I both loved, and probably the only movie we've seen in the movie theater twice.

Four Werschaibles: I'm going to go with 40-year old Virgin. Jeff was not keen on seeing this movie when I suggested it. One of my favorites of all time.

Three Werschaibles: Any Bond or Bourne movie. We don't love it, we don't hate it, we're just entertained enough to not be sad we spent the money.

Two Werschaibles: The third Matrix movie. This is for a movie that's bad, but we can still get a laugh out of how bad it was. Like the end where the female lead character, sorry I don't remember her name, takes 20 minutes to die despite being stabbed in every possible part of her body. Eagle Eye would also fall into this.

One Werschaible: We'll reserve this for movies that one of us sort of liked, and the other hated. I can't think of one off the top of my head, maybe Sex and the City? Jeff, help me out here.

Zero Werschables: Intolerable Cruelty. This is the only movie Jeff and I have ever walked out on. WE HATED IT, and Jeff will never let me live down that I chose to go see it.

We'll be back later today or this weekend with our review of Gran Torino. I can feel your excitement already.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cue the jingle

I know you all are dying to know the status of my weight. Well. Let's just put a little white out line over the first 12 days off 2009. It wasn't all bad, I went to the gym several times, but I fell off the diet wagon. Yesterday I ate a cheeseburger to end all cheeseburgers. I savored it, because today is the day!

We're not gonna take it! Oh, sorry bout that... I totally just drop-kicked the air there. 

So the state after the holidays looks something like this: 154 pounds.

But now it's time to get real. Seriously. I have less than 200 days. So starting today, I've made five challenges for myself, and I'll add a new one each month and get back to you with the progress. 

Starting today I'm going to .... START doing yoga for 20 minutes 5 days a week (on top of my regular workouts)
Starting today I'm going to ... STOP drinking soda
Starting today I'm going to ... STOP getting cream in my coffee (I'll switch to milk)
Starting today I'm going to ... START drinking four bottles of water a day
Starting today I'm going to ... START eating one serving of fruits and vegetables a day.

I'm already doing pretty well on this. I did the yoga this morning. I had an apple. I've had one bottle of water. 

Losing a pound a week from now on would be ideal, but I'll definitely settle for half a pound ;)

Who's with me! Don't have to be diet related. As you can see, none of these are particularly difficult goals, just stuff designed to make a small difference that will hopefully add up over time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

High school low

I used to cover high school sports. 

Within the nature of the job, I spent a good deal of after-school time in the general vicinity of high school kids. Inevitably, I'd overhear conversations and be transported to high school dramas, where everything was just of life-threatening importance. I'd laugh of course, knowing how little the topics they were obsessing over would matter to them in five or so years. I'd hope not anyway.

I found an old friend through facebook and we exchanged a few messages. She mentioned how she purposely avoided all people from our high school after graduation and never really reconnected with anyone. We talked a little about how unhappy high school could be at times, and how much time we spent not being ourselves. 

I agreed with her. I was very eager to leave Rhode Island after college. I'm not sure I would have come into my own if I had stayed. You don't really know who you are until you remove yourself from your comfort zone. For me, anyways.

Of course, I wasn't totally alone in Boston. I had a few acquaintances that made the move to the city as well, and of course my high school boyfriend, who went to Boston University. It wasn't until we broke up that I popped the high school bubble, started an 'adult' life.

I think all the readers of this blog can agree that any and all high school drama they experienced would only generate laughs now. I tried hard and fell short of being cool. Being part of the marching band probably didn't help that. I had friends, some fantastic, and some not so good. One of the lessons I learned in life is that friendships are all about quality and not quantity. Once I learned this, I stopped fighting with the best ones. I hope not to jinx this, but I haven't had a fight with a good friend in many, many years...

So when do we grow up? When should we say to ourselves with certainty "this are the things that will matter down the road"? I don't know if I'm ready to say that yet. I try my best to be myself at all times, and my life is much easier now. And to take a mushy aside, I was myself in front of Jeff from the very beginning, and that's why I love him so much. It was so easy.

When you are yourself all the time, you know the people who hang around you like you for no superficial reasons. I had some friends in high-school that ran so hot and cold with me, and there's nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable around your friends. I'm sure I treated some people that way too. 

I know people say 'I try to live my life without regrets' but if I have one, it would be to go back in time and relive high school. Worry less about socializing, and more on my grades. I much more regret my lack of scholarships than I fondly remember high school parties. It was all so silly, and what was the point? To act older than we were, to collect friends like trading cards, to be part of a crowd that, looking back, doesn't impress me at all? 

Bah. What a waste of time. 

I wanted to tell these teenagers all this. I wanted to snap the cellphones out of their rapidly moving fingers and say, "It doesn't matter if this boy likes you. In five years, you'll be graduating college and he'll be a busboy." My best friend Katie was entangled in a be-all, end-all drama over a boy when we were younger. Sides were taken, tears were shed. That boy just got arrested for racketeering and the other girl involved has two beautiful children with another man. I'm sure similar situations occur a million times a day.

Of course, I didn't say anything to the high schoolers. It's not often you appreciate perspectives from a stranger.

My old friend said to me "I didn't like who I was in high school. I was sad and moody all the time."

This surprised me. I wrote back:

"I don't know what you're talking about, I always liked you in high school."

What did we know?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Looky here

Look who just joined the blogging world... it's my favorite English award stealer Steve "Sure, I'll make out with you at midnight" Sears!

(No, Steve, you will not live that down. No, and it doesn't matter that I wasn't there.)

Steve and I have a long, storied history of friendship, betrayal, flat tires and his boy friends being my boyfriends. He was, by his own description, the "quiet kid that every one thought might be a serial killer" in high school, and lo and behold, he became my future husband's best man.

Small world, eh?

Welcome to the blogging world Steve. It ain't as easy as I make it look. 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Fancy pants

It's been a busy and sleepy past few days!

We drove back from South Carolina on Monday -- we left at 8:45 a.m. and got home at 1:25 a.m. on Tuesday. Needless to say, it was a long and stressful drive. For some reason the GPS took us a different way than on the way down, somehow swinging us right by D.C. which, while a headache traffic-wise, was pretty cool for me. I've never been there, never seen the White House. I, of course, made immediate mental notes to come back as soon as possible.

We hit more traffic heading towards Baltimore, when one-lane of a two-lane highway closed because of an accident, setting us back at least an hour. And in the last hour of the drive, piercing through Connecticut, we got a full blast of snow which made visibility tough and officially fried my last nerve. Fortunately, we all got home safe. 

Since then, I haven't gone to bed before 2 it seems. (Last night, I had to pick Jeff up from the train after a night out in Boston at 2:30 a.m. -- didn't sleep until four! and I'm working until 2 tonight.)

We didn't spend too much time resting Tuesday. We headed down to Rhode Island to meet up with Jeff's best man Steve who was in town for just a few more days (he lives in Florida). We wanted to get him fitted for a tux so we headed over to my old high school haunt, Carl Anthony, to have my former bossman Danny measure him and to pick out the tuxes. 

Well of course, Jeff looked handsome.

I wasn't sure I wanted him to wear a white vest, but I think it looked nice. And Danny gave us a fabulous deal: Jeff is completely free and the groomsman have WELL under regular price tuxes. Done and done!

Unfortunately, I had to work on New Year's, but Jeff went into Boston to hang out with friends, which lead me to the realization that there's nothing more lonely than watching the ball drop with the TV on mute. Oh well.

Today we celebrated Jeff's final day off before he goes back to work by seeing Benjamin Button, which was very good, but not great. Something was missing, though I can't really put my finger on it. Did any of my faithful readers see it yet? What did you think?

And just for fun, this picture from Meg's wedding... awkward dancing. Jeff and I in a nutshell.