Saturday, February 28, 2009

Packin' it in.

I know what you're thinking.

"Emily, you live in Central Mass. Isn't that where all the action is?"

You'd be surprised. There isn't much going on here. Well, unless you count two large cheese pizzas for $16.99 excitement -- and some Friday nights, believe me I do. 

In a welcome change, my social schedule was quite packed this weekend. Take a stroll through the last 24 hours with me...

Friday night: 8 p.m. Jeff and I drove down to little Rhodey to catch my favorite local band, Monty Are I. MAI is a fabulous little outfit, keyboarded/mixed/background vocaled by my best pal, Andrew. And here's a fun fact! Did you know my blog title name "But until then" was inspired by the boys? Well, it was. Save that for your trivia nights!

We met Justin outside a rainy Club Hell. (Yes, Club Hell. No comment.) Moment I know I'm getting old #264: I hate clubs. I do. I hate walking into a place and having to yell to talk to people. I love seeing MAI, but I hate the opening acts because it's just more noise stifling my convos (no offense to the specific bands that night). Also, don't enjoy awkward conversations with people I haven't seen in years. Look, you don't really want to talk to me. So let's just pretend we don't see each other and call it a night. 

But, these are the things I do because I love my friends.

The band went on around 9:45... and look at these awesome pics I snapped!

Sweet huh?

How about this one?

Well, at least I got Steve in that one.

I guess being friends with a band member can get you a ticket and even get you a free drink, but it can't get you a decent view. Ah well. The music was great, and it was nice to bop around to songs I hadn't heard in a while. The new stuff sounded great, etc etc. Can't wait for the CD to finally come out, even though I have a nice sneak preview on my computer now.

We couldn't hang out for too long because we had to get up in the morning....

Saturday: 1 p.m. Our wedding tasting! Oh. My. Gosh. The food was really good. I had high expectations, but the food met them, if not exceeded them. Plus the service was excellent, really high class.

Here's a rundown of the appetizers we tried: Apple Chutney Cheesecake, Mini Beef Wellington, Crab Cakes, Shrimp Shots, Quail wrapped in bacon, buffalo chicken shots, rare duck fritters, mini lamb chops, Gorgonzola purses and goat cheese rounds.
The mini chops, buffalo chicken shots and the duck fritters.... (those will also be our linens)

So we have to pick five and the definites are the Wellington (the best of all), the crab cakes and the Gorgonzola. Then it's between the fritters, the shrimp and the chops. So hard to choose!

Moving onto the entrees. We are having two stations. One is a gourmet pizza station where we'll have Mexican Pizza (so good), Athenian Pizza (even better?) and Buffalo chicken pizza (that's right). But it's all very classy looking. Well, tell me what you think...

We were both pretty over the moon with the pizza, and I think it will be a big hit with people. Then we tasted our second station: Tuscan Grill.

That's shrimp skewers with a tomato caper sauce and asagio polenta on the left side. On the right side is marinated bistro steak with a mushroom sauce over wilted spinich with grilled vegetables. Yum, yum, yum!!! 

I love that we are giving people plenty of choices and that none of it is really typical "wedding food." I mean, I've never even had polenta before. I hope people like it!

Then the dessert. Oh the dessert. I know what you're thinking, didn't you give up dessert for Lent? Yes, I did. However, I did so with the caveat that I would get to try my darn wedding cakes! And they were so good. We're going with a buttercream frosted yellow cake with chocolate mousse. Oh, and the Coldstone Creamery bar! Which we didn't try but I know will be great! Overall, I am so so so happy with everything, which makes me even more excited for the wedding!

Saturday: 4 p.m. I had arranged a little coffee date for the late afternoon with my blogging buddy Jessica. I worked it out so Jeff could cover a story for the Globe and I could meet her for an hour or two at the same time!

I haven't seen this girl in years, and it's sort of surreal when you meet someone where all your interactions are purely Internet-induced. You hear your own voice when you read what they write, so when you hear their real voice it's like, "Huh. How bout that?"

Well, Jessica is just as cute/nice/sweet/quirky in person as she is on her blog. We chatted girl talk: Weddings, TV, Music and eating toilet paper. You know, the usual. Oh, and her ring is amazing, props to her "fianz." Hope to do it again soon!

Quite a weekend right? Just got off the Mario Kart course and am hitting the sack in a few. Lazy Sunday tomorrow....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Suck it up.

I've been engaged for nine months now. During that time I've gone into full bride mode, soaking up message boards, television shows, magazines, gabbing to fellow brides for an inordinate amount of time.

Last week, I was observing a message board and the topic was "Wedding related pet peeves." I clicked and waited for the drama to ensue. Because people REALLY DON'T LIKE to hear that people are unimpressed/annoyed/hating on components of their wedding. People are sensitive about that stuff, and rightly so. Many people set up their wedding as a spectacle, less for the purpose of marriage, but more for blowing people away. It's an impossible task. You're going to annoy SOMEONE, insult SOMEONE. 

The first bitch was "brown tuxedos." Brown tuxedos? Never bothered me one bit. But I know a lot of people have them, so I thought for sure there would be backlash.

It. Never. Happened.

People started posting en masse. I guess it was cathartic. One girl posted something along the lines that she had almost everything at her wedding that was listed above but that she was happy, and she'd guess she'd have to put on her "big girl panties." Ha. Awesome.

So without further ado, wedding trends that irritate me. If you can't put on your big girl panties, or will attempt to read into this one iota, please don't read on. 

  • Tiaras. Really? A tiara? What is this, your quinceanera? Are you Miss America? I cringe when I see them. You are not Barbie. Buy a nice hairclip and call it a day.
  • Overly complicated invitations. I got three invitations this summer. They consisted of a notecard with the time and location of the event. You'll never believe this next part ... I attended each event, on time, found my own accommodations and figured out their registries all on my own! Why waste paper and postage with a whole lot of unnecessary information. Sure it's nice. But most likely people are going to throw it away. Save yourself the time and the postage. Make a web site.
  • Asking people to be your bridesmaids that aren't your friends. Every other day on message boards I hear people say "So and so bridesmaid dropped out of my wedding." Really? Was this person your friend or were you trying to fill a quota? (Put that aside as a separate peeve -- don't ask people to be your bridesmaid because you want 'even sides.') So they either weren't your friend or you were ...
  • Taking advantage of your bridal party. My friend Sarah came up from Florida last week. She's a bridesmaid in her brother's wedding. Money she has spent so far or will spend in the future: $300 on her bridesmaids dress, $50 on the matching dyeable shoes, $100+ on airbrushed makeup and hair (I asked, "Is she making you go?" and she said, "What am I gonna do? Sit at home by myself?" Good point.), she threw a wedding shower for 100 people ($300?), $500 on a BACHELORETTE PARTY CRUISE, a shower gift and a wedding gift. A-mazing. Who forces that upon their FRIENDS? Look, I know bridesmaids, when accepting, know they will be taking on a financial responsibility. That doesn't mean they are your personal bank.
  • Going crazy for favors. No one cares.
  • Grooms who go casual. Sneakers? Really? Baseball caps? Your bride spent HOURS getting ready, shoved themselves into a dress that was too tight, shoes that are too high and hair that is making their scalp bleed and you can't wear a suit for a few hours? Plz.
  • Brides who have contempt for their guests. This includes brides who have inordinately long wait times between their ceremony and reception (I'm talking 2+ hours) so they can take pictures however long they want or say things like "They can go get a drink." Why should they have to do that? Spend MORE money to attend your wedding? This also includes brides who's excuse for no open bar is "I don't want my guests getting drunk on my dime." Whatever, dude. Do you even want them there? Do them a favor, save them the money, don't invite them. They are your GUESTS, you should make them as comfortable as humanly possible.
  • Head tables. Let your BP sit with their families/significant others. 
Gosh, there are so many more that I can't think of right now. And before you think it to yourself, let me get it out of the way. My wedding isn't perfect. Here are the ways I could possible be annoying my guests.
  • A wedding smack dab in the middle of summer heat -- with an outdoor ceremony. 
  • In the most expensive city in Rhode Island -- if you want to stay there (and you'll have to stay two nights because there are no one-night hotels) you'll probably be spending $400 on lodging alone.
  • Stations. 1. Trendy. 2. Who wants to carry their food around?
  • CDs as favors. Well aren't YOU pretentious? I'll be sure to throw that away almost immediately.
Comes on my fellow brides and wedding attendees, what bothers you?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh, by the way, I'm getting married

Who doesn't want to read about my wedding, huh!?! Hands, show of hands?! Fine then.

But seriously, it's been a while since we discussed my upcoming nuptials. That's not for lack of happenings. Let's do a run-down.

  • I had a mini-freakout two week ago when I realized that Andrew and I had not talked at all about what he was going to play during the ceremony. I guess it's because he's been so busy with the band, and I just sort of put it in the back of my mind -- it wasn't one of my big wedding "concerns." I know he'll do a good job. But considering I'm asking him to learn at least five songs, it would be kind of me to get on that, right? So we talked for a bit, I sent him some samples, he sent me some back. Like everything else I'm doing for the wedding that involves my friends, I don't want to take advantage of him. I'd rather he present me some songs he thinks he can learn, and won't be stressful on him. But, again, like everything else with the wedding, everyone looks to me with big eyes and says "Emily just choose!" So we'll do The Wedding Song (standard -- for the Bridal Party walk-in), Pachebel in D for me walking in -- and we'll mix in some popular music. Maybe some Elvis, Beatles -- Two of Us and yes, the theme from Forrest Gump. Look it up, it's pretty! Suggestions welcome...
  • I've also been looking at potential readings for the ceremony. I found two possible candidates "Union" by Robert Fulghum and  "Blessing of the Hands" by Rev. Daniel L. Harris. Both beautiful, though the few I've polled like the second one better. Thoughts?
  • We have our wedding tasting this weekend! It's one of the many things I'm looking forward to this weekend, including the Monty Are I show on Friday and meeting fellow sassy  blogger Jessica. We've met before (our connection is Monty Are I) but not for the express purpose of hanging out with each other. Excited!
  • Semi-related to our tasting is the progress of the wedding diet. After our Valentine's Day gorge-fest, Jeff and I decided to get serious. And while I want to dedicate a whole post to this topic, I will say we lost six pounds between us last week! Woot woot!
  • And finally... you've been waiting for a long time for this moment.... it's ... Bridesmaid's dresses!! JCrew -- $128 -- they all love it -- done deal!

Aren't my bridesmaids gorgeous?

I remember once upon a time, as a college newspaper editor, that I hated columns that consisted entirely of bullets... something to keep in mind for next time...

{Edit: I already ran these pics didn't I? Getting old...}

Monday, February 23, 2009

Post-Oscar thoughts.

  • Why do people always bemoan how long the show is? The show is long EVERY YEAR. Is this a surprise? What annoys me are pointless musical numbers, tributes, performances. That mid-show dance routine with the Mama Mia crap, Beyonce lipsinking and for real? the kids from high school musical? I felt like Amy Poehler.... really?! If this had been on NBC, they would NOT have been there.
  • Doesn't Bill Maher realize it's just as annoying to push atheism as it is to push religion?
  • The speech by the screenwriter of Milk was the best of the night, hands down. When he quoted Harvey Milk saying to the gay children of America, 'You are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value,' goosebumps!
  • Is it wrong I was disappointed with the Ledger family's speech? Just seemed generic. Wish it had come off the cuff, from the heart. Seemed like they knew he'd win, so they wrote this prepared speech. It just wasn't as heartfelt as I'd have hoped. But then again, who am I to judge?
  • Was OK with all the winners, I suppose I have to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona now and see what all the fuss is about. Sort of wanted to see Rourke win JUST to see what would happen, what he would say.
  • I was hoping Ricky Gervais would make a guest appearance. Just sayin'.
  • Was I the only one who was not pleased with the amount of Jen-Angelina reaction shots? Am I one of the only people who still cares about this "feud"? Did Jen even walk the red carpet?
  • The least relevant kudos ever: Ryan Seacrest, whatever you think about him, does an EXCELLENT job with red carpet stuff. He always has relevant questions, knows exactly how long an interview should last, doesn't gush. I think that's gotta be harder than it looks -- with all those people!? However, he did gaffe at one point. Interviewing the kids from Slumdog, he went to go ask one of the young boys a question. One of the older ones jumped in, "He doesn't speak English." So Seacrest asked the older one, "Can you translate?" The older one re-iterated "He doesn't speak English." Ha. Not every Indian person speaks the language Seacrest.
  • Liked having the previous winners present the awards. Nice touch.
  • Fashion faves: Freida Pinto, loved the color. Anne Hathaway -- carpet dress, not performance dress. Thought Penelope Cruz looked nice, but don't know if I would have liked it in person. I liked Kate's dress but didn't LOVE it. Thought Angelina and Meryl Streep looked better than usual -- but that's not saying much. Tina Fey looked fab but my favorite was Taraji Henson. Bet we'll see some wedding dresses that look like that soon.
  • Worst dressed: I can't even be mad at Sophia Loren. I'm convinced she thought she was showing up to the 1985 Oscars. Steve commented to me: "Ahhh! Get off my TV" and I shot back, "Hey, she's 75, she looks pretty damn good." To which he countered, "No. I live in Florida. We have old people here. She looks like a corpse." Ouch.
Any other thoughts?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Strangest facebook notification ever

Ummm ... no. Did I mention this person and I have not ever met in real life?

Emily's 1 hour before the Oscars predictions, nay, opinions

OK, I realize I'm a little late here, but since I saw SOOO many movies this year, I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring here on some Oscar thoughts. Not predictions, because, I'm no expert, but just who I'd WANT to win. We'll break it down, elimination style.

(Just the major categories, thanks Jessica, for the quick copy and paste...)

Amy Adams - Doubt
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona 
Viola Davis - Doubt 
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler

Well, I'm gonna disagree with some ... people, and say this is sort of a weak category for me. None of these chicks particularly blew me away. Didn't see Penelope "One Person" Cruz in VCB, because I just had no desire to. It's not that I don't like her, it's just nothing about the movie called to me. So she's out. I didn't think Amy Adams was amazing in Doubt, she was capable. Marisa Tomei was also capable, but I don't feel like it was really stretching her all that much. Viola Davis was amazing in her scene, but it was ONE SCENE. It was like Raphael Palmiero winning the Golden Glove in 1999 with only playing 28 games on first base. So yeah, that's right, I'm going with Henson. I thought she was really, really good in BB and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future, especially if it has nothing to do with Tyler Perry.

Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight 
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

This is just the opposite of Best Actress to me. This is no doubt the strongest category and YAY! I've seen them all. Sorry RDJ, you just stick out here. You know it, I know it, you ain't winning. I'll be looking for you next year for the Soloist though. Brolin is out next for me -- was very, very good in Milk as a stumbling conservative antagonist to Sean Penn's flamboyant liberal character, but I think he was probably the third best actor in that movie (Or maybe I'm just blinded by James Franco's ... face.) Michael Shannon was AMAZING in Revolutionary Road and I remember thinking walking out of the theater that he should get nominated. Any other year he might be the new face to grab the big award. For me, it comes down to Philip Seymour Hoffman, or PSH as I like to call him (the sound, not the initials) and Heath Ledger. We all know it's Ledger's year but PSH gave me chills in Doubt. The final scene blow-by-blow scene between him and Streep is a movie classic -- I'm sure it will be included in montages for years to come. But Ledger gave me chills the whole movie. From the first scene, I was captivated. He took a character that has been around for decades, and turned it into something totally amazing and different. I'm so sad he won't be around to accept this award.

Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt 
Kate Winslet - The Reader 

So it's sort of unfair for me to weigh in on this category. I saw so many movies this year, but missed Changeling, Rachel Getting Married, and Frozen River. But since none of them are the front-runners, I'll still weigh in. Doubt was not Meryl Streep's best performance, but her 100th best performance is still better than 99.9% of everything else out there. And as I detailed above, her final scene with PSH in Doubt was nutty good. Which brings us to Kate... oh the opinions on the Reader. Some hated it, some loved it, all thought Kate was good but many thought she was better in Revolutionary Road. Hmmm. Lot to chew on there. I also saw a montage of Kate from the movie that consisted (not on purpose) entirely of scenes where she was furrowing her brow. It made me pause, for a moment, but this movie was so good and Kate was the centerpiece. It was a stretch for her. It was a captivating performance. It's her year. Give it to the girl!

Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk 
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler 

Didn't see the Visitor, but I'm sure Jenkins was solid, as always. Brad Pitt has been better in other things, but I do think he was perfect for the role and committed to it. Frank Langella, really, showed me Nixon. I'm 25, and haven't spent a lot of time watching black and white newsreel of our disgraced 37th president. His depiction will always be in my mind. Here's where it gets hard: Mickey Rourke vs. Sean Penn. Both perfect for the role, unimaginable to think of anyone else there. Iconic performances. I'd love to see Rourke's acceptance speech because he's just been shooting off at the mouth at every turn. But Penn was just slightly better in a slightly better movie. He deserves to win, but I wouldn't be mad to see Rourke take it home.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire 

Oof. This is hard. I can see why each of these movies is here. Eliminating Benjamin Button first -- can't help but thinking, from the actors to the director -- every one has had a better movie. I have to rank Slumdog Millionaire next and that KILLS me because I really loved that movie! It was just enjoyable. Milk goes next, but should be a standard that all bio pics should be judged against. Comes down to The Reader vs. Frost/Nixon for me. Not going to get too much into the Reader again, but will just say it shocked me, hurt me, thrilled me, saddened me and touched me all at once. Just. Great. But Frost/Nixon was the movie of the year for me. A play-turned-movie with all the actual stage actors actually in the film, directed by the always-solid Ron Howard (I've been watching Apollo 13 the past few days, what a great film!) I don't think F/N will win, and that's fine. But I think it's required viewing for everyone who's always wondered about the delicate balance between the media and the secretive public figure. It's really a chess match every time. Best journo movie since All the President's Men.

Some snubs, just for posterity:

BEST MOVIE: Dark Knight. Clearly. I'm not even exactly sure why this didn't get nominated. Can someone explain that to me? Critics loved it, cinematography was great, Ledger was amazing, etc, etc. I dunno. 

BEST ACTORS: All the actors from Slumdog Millionaire. Can those kids, as well as the adult actors, get some credit? How can you nominate the movie, the director, but none of the actors? (Quick aside: Frida Pinto is blow-me-away-gorgeous. I can't wait to see more from her). The other big snub for me was Leo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road. As I said in my review of that movie, he is underrated. He was heartbreaking in RR.

By the time you all read this, the Oscars will probably be over, but I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Name game

Everyone one in a very rare blue moon, one of my friends decides to make the trek out to our humble little home in C-Mass. Last night, I was lucky enough to have two!

Justin and Andrew drove up from RI to come eat burgers and watch Lost last night, then stay the night to ward off the snowy conditions. These two hang out so much I think I need a nickname for them. Jandrew? Drustin? Arostein? I'll work on it.

I told them I would serve burgers, as I served them last summer (the last time they made the trek) and they seemed to get good reviews. But, they got here before I finished my shift of work, impatient, OF COURSE, and I told Jeff to help them get started in the kitchen.

What was I thinking? After about 30 seconds I said to myself, "There's far too many knuckleheads in that kitchen right now." I wander in to find Andrew putting two frozen beef patties in the microwave, with no plate, no paper towel, just flat on the bottom of the microwave.  Sigh.

I steer him towards the George Forman as he insists "Frozen burgers burn faster" (!?!?) and commence cooking whilst putting together an HTML chart, which is always a good combination. Anyways, I do my best and Andrew seems pleased, but then again, I've seen him eat food off the ground. I cook for Justin, who takes one bite, determines it's "too pink" and won't even accept a re-grill. What a juxtaposition. The world's most picky and least picky eaters.

I digress.

Then it was LOST time. Thoroughly enjoying this season. Loved the opener, though felt cheated that they basically replayed it at the end! Thoughts:

-- If you knew your plane was going to crash again, would you not bring some essential items? Wear appropriate clothing? Or as I pointed out "A jacket of pillows?" 
-- The other people on the plane. Sure, the line of the night was "Who cares?" from Ben, but seriously, I do. What happens to them?
-- I didn't even CONSIDER this when I first saw it, but saw on a blog somewhere that Ben could have been killing Penny during his "errand." Woa.
-- Of course now we have a whole episode of Locke's backstory, which I'd usually dread, but am semi-interested in. I figure they're going to be at least another 2-3 episodes before we get back to the real-time plot. 
-- The Christ-figure crap continues though. Flight was 316. Come on.

After LOST was over, we watched the British version of the Office, which I thought Justin might like, but clearly bored him to tears. Then Daily Show, Colbert and bed. In the morning I was promptly made fun of for my lax job requirements, which require no shower, real clothes and for me to wake up at 10. Jealous?

I hope it is not six months before they visit me again. :P

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day Redux

I can't let an amazing meal go by un-blogged.

Last Saturday night, Jeff took me to the Capital Grille, which brought back fond food memories for both of us. We had been once before. I can't exactly remember the occasion, perhaps college graduation?, but like that time it was a splurge we couldn't afford but did it anyway.

I was legitimately excited all day, and already had planned out the menu <---- nerd alert! I was happy that they didn't adopt a prix fixe menu, which usually jacks up the price for the same food. We had one V-day disaster when this happened, resulting in me bitching out the hostess, and us leaving hungry. 

We rolled up to da Grille around 5 p.m. (our reservation was for 5:15, yet there was no Early Bird specials?!). We of course, immediately regretted bringing Jeff's hoopdie instead of my car, as there was complementary (mandatory?) valet parking. We both winced getting out of the two-door Hyndai Accent with the pizza crust in the back seat (seriously honey, can we throw that away? Or feed it to Andrew?) But whatever. 

We walked in and were seated right away. Unfortunately, we were seated next to a table of four that included two young children. WARNING RANT UPCOMING WARNING ... who the heck brings KIDS to a fancy restaurant??! They also had no intention of keeping them quiet or under control. Look, I know I don't have kids and I know that parents deserve a nice meal even if they can't find a babysitter, but who takes their kids to an expensive steakhouse? I don't even think there is a kids menu? And did they have to order cappucinos to make it the LONGEST DINNER EVER?!?! BOOOOOOOOOO /Rant.

Um, I didn't let it bother me too much.

We sat down, moved the chairs a bit closer to each other and ordered drinks. The CG has this amazing pineapple martini called the "Stoli Doli" or as I like to call it, "Super expensive flavored vodka!" Jeff got a Corona. We toasted to everlasting love (not really) and I dove into the bread basket with childlike enthusiasm. The butter was OMG good.

First came the Wedge salad. We split it and I swear they  give you a bigger portion when you ask to split. The salad led to this exchange.

Me: "Oh man, these bacon chunks are so huge!"
Jeff: "That's bacon, I thought they were croutons?!?"

Yeah, it was good. Possibly the highlight for me. Most people who know me, know I love bacon. I've often wondered aloud why they don't have beggin' strips for humans? Jeff could rattle the package and I could come running in "I smell bacon and its BACON!!!" I suppose we have real bacon, but that's not really the point is it?

For dinner I got a dry rubbed steak with shallot butter and Jeff got a balsamic glazed porterhouse. Both were amazing, but we both agreed mine was better. I only could eat half, and so could Jeff, so we took the rest home. 

Just because we were too full to finish dinner doesn't mean we weren't going to get dessert?! I picked out three chocolate based options off the menu and let Jeff chose which one he wanted. We ended up with a chocolate ice cream sandwich with homemade chocolate ice cream that Jeff called "the best dessert he ever had" which was music to my ears. See, I grew up in a house where dessert was the norm after dinner, both at home, and in restaurants. Jeff's family was just the opposite. I've converted Jeff into a dessert person now ;)

I decided to order one more drink, though I probably shouldn't because it put me from full to over-the-top my stomach is bursting full. Seriously. I didn't feel sick, surprisingly, but I was PAINFULLY full. I thought I was going to burst like the guy from Se7en. Yikes.

We went home and watched Wall-E, which was a perfect topper on our Valentine's Day. Jeff fell into a food coma around 10 and I stayed up until after midnight playing Mario Kart with my boss (via internet connection on the Wii.) Overall, a great day!

Here's a pic we snapped in the restaurant:

I really love this guy.

Heard last night...

"You're like a cyborg. Half metal. Why can't your eyes function?"

-- Jeff, when I hit him in the face with my glasses while trying to give him a good night kiss.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Quick hits

I hate starting blogs off this way. "Boy, it's been a long time!" Because, who cares? Is anyone really sad over my lack of posting?

Well, I am. I like keeping this blog, and keeping it up to date. I always write when the mood strikes -- it just hasn't struck that often recently. But boom, it struck now. Some tidbits from the last few weeks.
  • After a binge in January where Jeff and I saw 11 movies, we haven't seen any thus far in February. Next one we're on the watch for is ... Watchmen, which looks awesome, even though I don't know anything about the book/graphic novel. My January movie rankings are as follows, from best to worst: Frost/Nixon (Amazing, loved it), The Reader, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, Revolutionary Road, Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt gives an edge here), The Wrestler, Doubt, Seven Pounds (I can't help it, I love Will Smith), Bride Wars (Really... not as bad as I thought it would be), Defiance. Really the only one that was a true miss for me was Defiance.
  • Jeff's birthday was last week, and as a present I got him a Wii/Wii Fit/Mario Kart. His parents helped ;) Mario Kart has been the top choice. I used to love playing Mario Kart at my cousin's Sarah's house when I was a kid. Of course, it's much upgraded now. Why only one female character though (No, Peach and Baby Peach are not two). Come onnnnnn! Also, a little disappointed in the fit. Weird it doesn't string together workouts, it's like "Do this for 2 minutes... then re-load something else." There are some fun things on there, but only a few that truly get my heart rate up. 
  • This past Wednesday our old friend Sarah came up from Florida and Katie and I took the day off work to hang out with her. It was fun, of course.  We took a day-long walk around the city of Boston, laughing and talking about whatever popped up. While I love Jeff and my two best guy friends, it's nice to have a little girl time. At night we met up with Meg and Troy, Andrew and Jackie and Jeff to have dinner in Boston. The food was amazing, and on the way home I got to listen to more demos from Monty Are I. They sound great!

Katie and Sarah.

The three girls.

Also, we may have found some bridesmaids dresses!!! Wahoooooo!! They are JCrew. When we were pacing the mall killing time on Wednesday we wandered in. I had seen these online, but didn't know they sold them in the stores.

Thoughts? I think they look great and they were a good price. Totally re-wearable in my opinion. And frankly, I just want to get this over with. One less thing to worry about!
  • Tomorrow night is Valentine's Day. I know some people say "Oh, it's just a cheesy holiday created by the blah blah blah..." but you know what? I like it! Jeff is a pretty romantic guy and this year he made reservations at the Capital Grille. Soooo not in our price range, but I couldn't turn it down. Come on! It's the Capital Grille! Steaks so good you pass out! I so can't wait :)
  • I'll leave you with this... A display in Barney's in the Copley Mall. WTF? Yes, that is a bag on her head, and no, we didn't put it there.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chick-cow Chick-cow!

I think Seinfeld is hands-down the funniest show of all time.

I think Arrested Development and 30 Rock are the closest competitors.

Note: I'm not including Extras or The (British) Office in this because there were only 12 episodes and a special of each and well, that's not fair. Shows slip, they don't usually gain momentum. But if I was boiling it down to just 12, these two shows would be head to head with Seinfeld.

I've seen every episode of Seinfeld at least 25 times, save for a few that they don't show that often. Some of them, definitely more. I know most of the words to the entire show... the entire series. I frequently drop Seinfeld-isms into my daily life, which is, ironically one of my biggest peeves with other people. But come on, it's Seinfeld!

There was only one truly terrible episode of Seinfeld (the finale) and a few that I don't really enjoy, mostly in the earlier seasons. My favorite episode of all time is the one with the Merv Griffin show ("It's not a pet. It's a wild invalid. And it knows that I tried to kill it. As soon as it gets better, it's gonna gnaw my brain out in my sleep.") I probably have watched at least one episode a day for 10 years. That's sort of crazy huh?

It's funny that a show that ended when I was a freshman in high school is still so funny to me. I occasionally watch Cheers re-runs, and while it was a great show, it doesn't really make me laugh. Of course there was a lot more melodrama there, so it will probably rest with The (American) Office in 10 years.

I've heard a lot of people question how well 30 Rock will hold up over time since it has so many current cultural references. It's a fair point. Before this last week's episode I thought it was starting to slip -- but I was laughing again. Out loud. (Always the mark of a good show. I don't want to chuckle. I want tears in my eyes. Otherwise you're just wasting time right? And I never do that ...)

Jeff and I are currently running through Arrested Development. We only have the finale left. It's hilarious of course, but again, slipped in the third season. The whole story line with Charlize Theron was stupid (no pun intended.) I'm still crossing my fingers for a movie version to be made, if only to further my crush on Michael Cera.

Really good comedies are so rare. Why is that? Why are good comedies so hard to find, to sustain? Of course it's because it's harder to write funny than to write serious. I've tried to be funny in this space many a time and failed miserably.

Like many "writers" I'd love to write a funny script one day, either for a show or a movie. Never gonna happen, but fun to dream. The Boston Globe sports section would be a perfect backdrop. It's amazing how many characters there were at 25 or so desks. Most of the college kids that worked there had great senses of humor, and others were perfect fodder. If I ever had the opportunity to write something, I'd definitely draft from that group.

Of course, they already made "My Boys" so I'm probably out of luck.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

At the movies with Emily and Jeff: The Reader

Now, I'm skipping over two movies here, as we also saw the Wrestler and Milk since our last chat, but I had to move forward to tell you how much I loved the Reader.

I was on the fence about this movie going in. Kate Winslet had just about started to annoy me a tad, and one of my favorite bloggers had lampooned it, making me wary. 

Well, Jessica, we'll have to debate because I thought it was amazing. I loved it. 

I knew the skeleton plot coming in. A young boy has an affair with an older woman. The woman is charged with war crimes dating to World War II. That was about all I knew.

I was so engaged in the story and it's three act: 1. The affair; 2. The trial; 3. The aftermath. Brilliantly acted by everyone (people have said Kate was better in RR, but I disagree. She's so controlled here. She's cold as Nazi, but still emotional. She's amazing!) 

I can't say that this is an original comparison, though I haven't seen it anywhere else. This movie reminded me soooo much of Sophie's Choice. In that movie, which is absolutely required viewing, a young boy happens upon an intriguing 'older' woman and becomes fascinated. But! She has a secret, involving the Nazis. I don't want to give it away, because it was an Oscar winning performance by Meryl Streep and I highly recommend it.

Anyways, I digress. Both movies have such severe subject matter. Can someone be forgiven for the choices they make under high stress? Can those people forgive themselves? Winslet's Hanna is sort of clueless, still clinging to that Nazi presumptuousness that what they did could not have been avoided. I'm not sure she feels bad. Or perhaps it's that she feels worse about her illiteracy, which makes her both sympathetic and just pathetic. 

There were no excuses. But we all make them. Everyone made them during the war. I'm rambling. This is subject matter beyond my expertise. I just loved it. It's between Frost/Nixon and this were movie of the year for me. 

Jeff's take: "Kate Winslet was once again excellent." (pauses to eat peanut M&Ms) "Never heard of that young kid, I don't know his name, never heard of him. But he was good too. And we saw Kate Winslet topless a lot. Very good. Enjoyable. As enjoyable as a Holocaust movie can be." 

Final ranking: Four Werschaibles